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 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

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

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

I love starting a new book; there's something about beginning a new journey that invigorates me. When it comes to choosing the next victor from my towering TBR stack, a great first chapter will always win out. I selected five contestants and read the first chapter of each to bring you some tips about what makes or breaks a first chapter.

What Makes a Great First Chapter? (A Comparison of 5 First Chapters)

I love starting a new book; there’s something about beginning a new journey that invigorates me. When it comes to choosing the next victor from my towering TBR stack, a great first chapter will always win out. I selected five contestants and read the first chapter of each to bring you some tips about what … Read more