Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Chapters

On writing a first chapter:

"Readers don’t need to know how our characters got to the point they’re at. Throw our characters into the story and for the first chapter pretend the reader already knows as much as we do."

~ Jody Hedlund in her blog post Potential First Chapter Problems

I knew this is something we should aim for in a first chapter, and I've striven not to weigh down my first chapters with too much set up, but I've never heard the idea phrased quite this way before, pretend the reader already knows as much as we do. That clicked it into focus for me in a far more conscious way, so I can be more deliberate about it in future.

Check out Jody's post for the rest of her tips on first chapters.


  1. Glad I got you thinking! That's what I love so much about hanging out with other writers in cyberland! We can sharpen one another! :-)

  2. Thanks for this link! These are great tips.

  3. Jody's post was very good!

  4. Thanks for commenting Gracie and Carla. And Jody, thanks for permission to quote you!

    I love it when another writer communicates an understanding my brain has been dancing just slightly out of step with in such a way it clicks, and suddenly we're in sync!