Thursday, February 10, 2011

Call for Advice on First Chapters and Opening Pages

I fell prey to the classic rookie mistake in my first novel: starting the book in the wrong place. Chapter 1 had lots of backstory and not enough conflict. It was, to say the least, a boring chapter.

As I get to work on my next project, I am DETERMINED that I will not make the same mistake. To that end, I started trolling around the interwebs for good posts on first sentences, first paragraphs, opening pages, and first chapters. I've found some great stuff (I am loving Elena Solodow's list of overdone openings from Nathan's first paragraph contest -- I've already thrown out four opening ideas as a result) but I'm running out of steam. I follow 120 blogs and, boy, are you guys prolific! It was taking way too much time to go to everyone's blog and search for posts, so I have a favor to ask.

If you have written a post on openings, or have read a great post on the subject, can you leave a link (or non-linked address, if like me you are useless at HTML tagging) in the comments? Or maybe you can recommend a book that has good coverage on the topic.

I thank you! (And I'm sure the agents who will someday be reading my opening pages will thank you, too.)


  1. I've done several posts on firsts, you can find them in my blog labels. I just posted on Elena's list, too and just finished re-writing my YA wips first paragraph!

  2. Thanks, Elle! I'm off to check out your posts now...

  3. Thanks for the shout-out. My extra advice: start the novel as close to the inciting incident as possible.