#firstchapterfriday January

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

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

#FirstChapterFriday November 2016

First Chapter Friday #8 (November 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? You might notice that the format of this month’s #FirstChapterFriday is slightly different to normal. Who doesn’t like change every now and then? 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 … Read more

#FirstChapterFriday October

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

#FirstChapterFirday September

First Chapter Friday #6 (September)

Not sure what #FirstChapterFriday is? Watch the video 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 … Read more


#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

#FirstChapterFriday July

First Chapter Friday #4 (July 2016)

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 (click here for the archive). 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 … Read more

How to turn a story premise into a plan

How to Turn a Story Premise into a Plan

How to Turn a Story Premise into a Plan (Video transcript) In my last video I talked about how difficult it is to start a story from just an idea and that it’s best to develop that idea into a premise before you start writing or you’ll have an increased chance of getting stuck. But while … Read more

How to turn an idea into a story

How to Turn an Idea into a Story

How to Turn an Idea into a Story (Video transcript) I often hear writers say, “I have an idea for a book, but I don’t know where to start.” That’s because an idea doesn’t equal a story. Ideas don’t tell us much about the story at all. Ideas often involve no characters, no conflict and … Read more