Monday, October 05, 2009

Enormity of Chapter One

As I begin writing the sample chapters for my new proposal, I did my research...I did my character sketches...I did my setting map. I knew what needed to be told in the prologue--wrote that, rewrote that, rewrote it again, sent to cps and 1st readers, got great suggestions (gotta LOVE cps--mine rock), revised, edited, and finally called said prologue complete. Whew! Got past that "starting a new book" hurdle, right? Wrong.

Wrote 4 pages on chapter one. Read. Tweaked. Let sit overnight. Reread this morning. "Select All" then "Delete." Why? Hated it. And realized, prologue or not, the "starting a new book" hurdle begins on the line following "Chapter One." Don't know why, but it's there. The block. The seeing the story in my head like a movie, but not knowing what should end up on the cutting room floor.

So, readers, in stories that you love, the ones you'll reread, the ones you tell your friends about...what do YOU like to see in the beginning chapter??? Share thoughts, please. You can email me privately if you'd prefer not to post a comment, or like some of you, don't have a posting account. But please do answer...I really want to know how it differs from what I look for.


Suz said...

I like to be sucked into a book from page one.
I hate it when I have to keep reading, just to see if I'm going to be able to get through a book.
In a perfect book, I also get a breath of the conflict, I can "see" the setting and whether it's historical, futuristic or contemporary. And of course, the heart of the POV character.
And for me, it's never, ever easy. Usually need my superior CPs to get me on track. LOL.
BTW: I asked a question at I think you could answer. Please drop by!

Rel said...

A hard hitting, dramatic, evocative or funny first line or two. One that hints at what is to come either in substance or tone. My fav first lines at the moment are James David Jordan's from Double Cross -

"The day my mother came back into my life began with a low December fog and a suicide.

Mom was not responsible for the fog."

Wow - hits you right between the eyes and you know something intriguing is coming.