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Chapter One

May 17, 2020
 

 

The first chapter of a novel needs to do some heavy lifting to start the story. Once you realize that what needs to be done follows a fairly clear format, it makes light work of the task. 

What should you be looking to achieve in the first chapter? These are some of the things you might consider:
  • to put your reader into the world (location/setting/era)
  • to pose a question the reader wants to get an answer for (create mystery or intrigue)
  • to introduce the main character
  • to set the mood
  • to kickstart the plot development

But what's essential for a story to start in the space between you and the reader?

In the video with this blog, you'll find a clip from a lesson with Justin Cronin in which he describes the basic layout as:

  • where and when are we?
  • who are the major players?
  • what's the point of view?
  • What's the story's larger moral and cultural setting?

 

"There's nothing wrong with just flat out declaring this information at the start of a narrative. I...

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