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 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

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

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

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). Here are June's reads:

First Chapter Friday #3 (June 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo Engaging first sentence? Yes. I adored it! Joost had two problems: the moon and his moustache. I like it because I found the moustache part amusing and unusual, and it surprised me enough to want to know why he’s got a beef with his moustache. … Read more