Every Friday I read the first chapter of a book I've never read before to see what I can learn about writing great first chapters.

First Chapter Friday #12 (March 2017)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? After a year of analysing first chapters and finding the same strengths and weaknesses over and over, I’ve decided to bring #FirstChapterFriday to an end. I’ve learnt a lot myself about the importance of first chapters; about the differences between a chapter that keeps readers reading, and one that turns them … Read more

Every Friday I read the first chapter of a book I've never read before to see what I can learn about writing great first chapters.

First Chapter Friday #11 (February 2017)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Good Morning, Midnight, Lily Brooks-Dalton The good I liked the concept. The bad Everything else. Apart from odd transitions in places, the writing was fine. But almost the entire chapter consisted of info dumping about the character and what the setting looked like. I know his entire life, and that’s the last … Read more

Every Friday I read the first chapter or a book I've never read to see what I can learn about writing great first chapters.

First Chapter Friday #8 (November 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Biblical, Christopher Galt In the last eight months of doing #FirstChapterFriday, I’ve found that it’s easier to be unimpressed by a first chapter than it is to be impressed by a first chapter. This prologue was only a few pages long—long enough for me to be able to form a negative … Read more

Every Friday I read the first chapter of a novel I haven’t read before and discuss its strengths, weaknesses and overall rating as a first chapter on Instagram using the tag #FirstChapterFriday. Here's what I learnt about first chapters.

First Chapter Friday #4 (July 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Another month has flown by, which means I’ve read another lot of first chapters for #FirstChapterFriday. What did I find out this month? Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard Engaging First Sentence? I hate First Friday. It made me laugh, which had nothing to do with how good it was and everything to do … Read more

Books make the best writing teachers. So what lessons can we learn from Six of Crows?

2 Storytelling Lessons from SIX OF CROWS

I read the first chapter of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo for #FirstChapterFriday and enjoyed it so much that I decided to read the rest of the book. I loved it and, as I can never turn off my editor brain, I pulled out two great storytelling lessons this book has to teach writers. 1. Don’t … Read more

Every Friday, I read the first chapter of a novel I haven't read before and discuss its strengths, weaknesses and overall rating as a first chapter on Instagram using the tag #FirstChapterFriday. But since not everyone's on Instagram, here are May's reads:

First Chapter Friday #2 (May 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty Engaging first sentence? No. I understand what it’s supposed to mean, but that meaning is lost when you look at the first sentence alone: The blaze of sun wrung pops of sweat from the old man’s brow, yet he cupped his hands around the glass of … Read more

Books make the best writing teachers. What lessons can we learn from this book?

4 Storytelling Lessons from THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER

After reading the first chapter of the Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury for #FirstChapterFriday, I decided to finish the book. The first chapter started out great, but I noted that the second half of it took a bad turn and hoped that the story would right itself in the following chapters. It didn’t. Here are … Read more

Every Friday, I read the first chapter of a book I've never read before to see what lessons I can learn about first chapters.

First Chapter Friday #1 (April 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Coraline, Neil Gaiman Engaging First Sentence? It’s great. It gets to the point instantly, and is so succinct that I can’t even summarise it, so I’ll just quote it: Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. “The door” says it all. Gaiman could have … Read more