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 #10 (January 2017)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo The good I liked the writing and the lack of info dumping, especially since this is fantasy and the reader needs to learn the context, world and premise. The first sentence was long, which I would normally complain about, but it was simple enough to … Read more

Books and movies can teach us a lot about storytelling. These are the lessons Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope has to offer.

4 Storytelling Lessons from Star Wars: A New Hope

I’ve always had a problem with criticism of the Star Wars prequel trilogy because what most people think are problems really aren’t, but after reading criticism of Rogue One, I’ve decided to break my silence. Let me preface by saying that I was introduced to Star Wars by my parents when I was a child in the early … 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 #9 (December 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? In the Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker The good The voice in this book was immediate and fantastic. I knew this girl immediately and was interested in what she was doing and what she had to say. I learnt about how three years beforehand, when they were both fourteen, … 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 book I've never read before to see what I can learn about writing great first chapters.

First Chapter Friday #7 (October 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Cinder, Marissa Meyer Engaging first sentence? The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. I found this sentence to be a classic “I overestimate how much my reader cares about my story and its characters”. I could picture something, which was great … 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 #6 (September 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Face Value, Ian Andrew Engaging first sentence? It wasn’t the prettiest place to die. I liked it; it told me that I was starting the story in the middle of an action scene so it probably wouldn’t be a boring or slow start. It also told me that this current … Read more

There are millions of books in the world so why should anyone read your book over another one? Even if you win someone over with your cover, blurb and title, you're not in yet. Avid readers have dozens of books on their 'to be read' list, so why should yours be the next to be crossed off? Your first chapter should answer this question. It's your book's audition!

#FirstChapterFriday What Makes the First Chapter of a Book Stand Out?

(Video transcript) There are millions of books in the world so why should anyone read your book over another one? Even if you win someone over with your cover, blurb and title, you’re not in yet. Avid readers have dozens of books on their ‘to be read’ list, so why should yours be the next … 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. Here's what I learnt in August 2016.

First Chapter Friday #5 (August 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas Engaging first sentence? No, not particularly. I’m finding a lot of books that use the first line to describe setting. While I appreciate being thrown into the scene straight away, I’m more interested in what is happening than where it’s happening. … 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