BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Muse, News and Views

On writing a first chapter

First chapterAuthor Kath McGurl on the hard work and eventual rewards of reflecting, revising and rewriting
photo credit: YoungKwan Cho via photopin cc

Kathleen McGurl

The first chapter of a novel is so important – it’s the first thing a reader, editor or agent sees, and if they don’t like it they won’t read on. And these days with Amazon offering the Look Inside feature, potential readers can read the start of your book from the comfort of their armchair. Get it wrong and it’s all they’ll ever read. Get it right and you’ll make a sale.

One of my novels has had so many first chapters it’s amazing it knows its own identity. For your amusement, here’s its history, to date. What I needed to happen in the first chapter was for amateur genealogist Katie to visit a house where her ancestors used to live, get a look inside, and have the current owners hint to her at mysteries in its past. In chapter 2 the historical part of the story begins; from then…

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2 comments on “On writing a first chapter

  1. kathmcgurl
    June 21, 2014

    Thanks for reblogging!

  2. bridget whelan
    June 21, 2014

    My pleasure and congratulations on the contract – thrilled for you.

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This entry was posted on June 21, 2014 by in Muse and tagged , , .
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