novel writing

Treat Your Chapters Like The First Chapter | Novel Talk

I’ve missed discussing writing on here, I needed a break. 🙂 But I am back to talk about writing. 

Basically, MAKE AN IMPACT!

I am a writer who loves…..LOVES cliffhanger endings to chapters. I know I’m not the only one. In fact, that probably should be a separate post on its own, so, to stop myself from ranting on that topic. 😉

The first few words to a chapter. 

We like packing a punch at the end…but we do not tend to really think about the next scene. If we are preparing our chapter to leave a punch at the end, it helps to continue through with that action in the next chapter.

Never forget the importance of what a new chapter allows us to do.

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NEW CHAPTER BENEFITS

-allows time to pass (hours, days, weeks, months/years)

-allows new perspective 

-allows new scene, especially if we need a break on the past one (we don’t want boring scenes)

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First Chapter INTRO -DO NOTS

It may help to go over what should NOT happen in the first sentence or paragraph in our first chapter.

DO NOT- Description– Now, I actually love description, in fact, those who have been kind enough to be a reader for me know I take my description scenes pretty seriously. However, many readers are immediately turned off by pure description in the first chapter and ESPECIALLY at the beginning. Also, a lot of people have a huge pet peeve with rain, letting you know. 😉 I guess they hate the cliche of it.

DO- Connection/Plot– Your first line of attack should be action. It should be, if possible, something tied to the plot. Pull your reader in with something related to the story. In order for the reader to CARE about what the scene around them looks like, they need to feel connected.

It’s important you try to connect your main character and the reader as quickly as possible. The main character, after all, is the main perspective you’re using. If the reader is not connected or cares… the biggest line of attack is useless.

A little description is always good, but again, do not let it be the first thing UNLESS…you play with the senses.

USE YOUR FIVE SENSES!

If description is to be used, when possible, try to play with the senses. Go beyond sight alone. What scents are wafting in the air? What kind of physical sensations can be felt? If food is discussed, allow the reader to taste through description. Do not take the sense for granted.

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SHOW DO NOT TELL

Be dramatic!

Again, connection with the main character is key. In real life, we are not able to dive in quickly with someone, know their ticks, their stress, their struggles. But in a story, we can immediately be pulled in and made aware of these things if we are given the ability.

Use these strengths to the max. If your character is struggling, make sure to talk about it in the beginning chapter.

Help your reader visualize, but more importantly, experience what your character is going through and thinking.

“He panicked.” – Telling

“Beads of sweat began to drip from his brow. His heart quickened as his blood ran cold.” – Showing 

Do not saturate these pieces in paragraphs of pure description, it drags the scene. But a couple of sentences is really all a reader needs.

Post | Show Not Tell | Writer Thoughts

Chapters are important. They need to have enough information to push the story forward, but not too much that the reader is weighed down. The beginning of a chapter has as much value as the end. We want the reader to be excited about the ending in order to read more, but if we do not keep their attention span at the beginning of the next chapter, it does not matter how good our cliff hangers are.

Keep trying!

(NIV) Matthew 13:46, “When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”


Comment Below:
Are chapter intros hard for you?

courage is

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9 thoughts on “Treat Your Chapters Like The First Chapter | Novel Talk

  1. This is an amazing post T.R. I completely agree with you about showing not telling and really making sure that the intro is where you connect with your reader.

    I’m currently not doing chapter intros but when I do, I’ll definitely take this into account.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, for the longest time I wanted different speakers but as I wrote my first novels I realized third person worked best for me. There is quite a lot you can do and you can still give different points of view through third too 🙂 something to play arpund with.

        Like

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