Today’s blog post is a first chapter reveal at I’m Shelf-ish. This chapter has been featured at several other stops, so I won’t revisit that here.
Instead, we will talk about first chapters in general.
Every time you start a new book, it is like stepping into a virgin frontier. The first chapter will set the stage for the rest of it.
Your first chapter is where the reader is first introduced to your characters. You want it to be strong and interesting. In The Marvelous Mechanical Man, this is where people first meet Jo. They see her independence, swift thinking, and a taste of her temper. They meet Alistair, and he’s a bit confused by the whole situation. This shows the direction their relationship will take until they get to know one another a bit better. They see her way of dealing with Mr. Greenstreet–and know she’s quick to make judgments.
If I had it to do over…I might have skipped the Dime Novel excerpt at the beginning. It seems like it just confuses a lot of readers. I’ve had several people tell me they just skip that part anyway. And, when I see the KENP reports where people just read a few pages and quit, I fear this is one reason why.
It really meant something to me as an author, but when you write a book, you are writing for the readers. It only took me four books to learn this lesson and ditch the gimmick.