Friday, October 7, 2011

Fictionpress Friday

Tip #4:  Write a good first chapter

Catchy title?  Check.

Piquing summary?  Check.

It's time to write your first chapter.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you do so:

1)  Good grammar and spelling is a must!   I know that Fictionpress doesn't have a screening process, but you're representing you and your work.  To be taken seriously, make sure your work is the best it can be.  I understand there might be an instance where time is short and you can't edit it.  I always write a little note apologizing for my errors just to let my readers know I'm aware of them. 

Also, I understand that once you finish a chapter - especially the first one - you're super excited to post it.  I've felt this and I've done it.  But please, wait.  Sleep on the chapter for at least a day so your eyes will be clear and focused and able to spot any errors than you might editing the same day as writing it.

2)  Introduce your couple, or, if there isn't romance in your story,your main characters to your readers.  We don't need to know everything, but we need to know enough in order to care about them.  If we care about them, more than likely we'll invest in the story and follow it to its completion.

3)  End on a cliff-hanger.  As a reader, I hate it, but as a writer I know my readers will come back to find out what happened (especially if I've made my characters likeable, and if I update my story regularly <-- more on that later!). 

4)  Introduce the conflict of the story.  It doesn't have to be detailed, but we need to be aware of potential problems the MC will face.  It goes hand in hand with caring about the characters.

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