A Story Opener to Avoid

Recently on Twitter I posted a link to a blog series by literary agent Kristin Nelson talking about nine book openings to avoid. You can find that series here and I suggest giving it a read, especially if you struggle to find the right spot to start your book. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what Kristin said in the series as an editor and reader. Continue reading


Common Issues With First Chapters

I’ve been making a list of issues I often spot in first chapters while I’m editing. I just ironed some of these issues out of my own WIP’s first chapter. If something is on this list, I’ve seen it quite a few times. Some of these will have their own future posts devoted to them. If I spot other issues enough, I might do a part two to this. Use this list to look for possible issues in your own first chapter. If you have an issue with the last three in your first chapter, you will want to check the rest of your manuscript because odds are those issues exist throughout your story. Continue reading

First Chapter Tips: Tension

When it comes to first chapters, there are some issues I see more often than others. Admittedly, I personally find writing my own first chapters super hard. I can’t include all the issues I’ve seen or this would be way too long. So I’m going to focus on tension and I’ll talk about other issues in other posts. Think of your first chapter as a reader’s gateway into your story. You need a strong, clear beginning that gives readers something they are dying to know more about. Tension will help keep your readers from getting bored. If done right, tension will keep them reading past your first chapter. Continue reading