Chapter One

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Sabbz, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Sabbz

    Sabbz pooky

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    ...


    ^ that's all I've got :(

    I understand that the first paragraph, indeed the first chapter, of a book is usually the one that determines whether or not the reader is going to remain interested.

    So, my question to you all: How did you come up with your first chapter? Also, how important do you think the first chapter is?

    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure where to begin my tale, which truly sucks :(

    :guin:
     
  2. Thy Fearful Symmetry

    Thy Fearful Symmetry New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    (First, a warning: I'm not a professional writer, merely an enthusiastic amateur, so take everything I say with a pinch of salt.)

    That being said, the best advice I could give you on how to write well is to actually write. Writing fiction isn't something that can be taught (despite what some think), but it is something that can be improved through perseverance. With experience will come the knowledge of what works and what doesn't. The more you write, the better you will become. Editing is also an important part of the process. Know when to cut things out. No matter how long and lovingly you've crafted a paragraph, page or chapter, if it doesn't seem to work (for whatever indefinable reason) then don't be afraid to excise it and start again. A good read depends as much on what you leave out as what you leave in.

    As for beginning at all, I suggest you look for a hook to draw the reader in. You could begin with the protagonist in peril, and use the rest of the story to show how they came to that crisis point and how it was resolved. Or you could simply introduce the character by the way they interact with the world in which they live. Ultimately, there are no right and wrong ways to begin your tale. Some start as character studies, some throw you right into the action. If you do enough writing you'll soon find your own style and discover which method appeals most.

    The most important thing though, in my opinion, is to write, write, and write again. I wish you luck.:D
     
  3. darkfox

    darkfox New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +12 / 0 / -0
    the first thing i created was a main character. then of course I went to the fantasy standby of creating a map.

    started doing some reading after that and realised that I needed some sort of layout of the story to keep myself moving forward with the story. i think it was five pages long in bullet form to get over 100,000 words.

    my first chapter was pretty sketchy at best. after i'd finished the first rough i went back and started the first edit, adding pieces that would make the story better in later chapters. looking back on it, i should have spent much more time working on the first chapter. it sets the tone for the whole story and hooks the reader.
     
  4. Sabbz

    Sabbz pooky

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Writing isn't really a problem for me, because once I get going, the imagination just flows to my fingers. I guess it's just the initial 'push' that is stopping me because I seriously have no idea how/where/when to begin my tale.

    You can read some of the things I've written here: http://author-of-fantasy.deviantart.com/gallery/

    They're mostly just quickies, something that sprung to mind and I typed down, most didn't take me very long at all.

    So I have no problem writing, just in knowing where to start. :)

    Thank you for the advice and replies thus far :)

    P.S: I like Seeker Part 1 :p
     
  5. Thy Fearful Symmetry

    Thy Fearful Symmetry New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    Sorry, I assumed from your first post that you weren't in the habit of writing, but you obviously are. In which case I would say simply let your fingers guide you. I know some authors say they plan every sentence in immaculate detail, but just as many cheerfully admit that have no idea what they're going to write when they sit down in front of their computer. If you've already got a good idea in mind of what your protagonist is like, I'd suggest just letting your mind wander and see where it leads you. If it turns out to be a dead end you can always delete and start again.:D
     
  6. Sabbz

    Sabbz pooky

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    It's ok, I wasn't being very specific in my question anyway, lol. :)

    I suppose you're right, I'm not the type that will immaculately plan the entire book, although I do like to have a clear understand of where I'm going (sometimes to the point where I have a summary of each chapter :p).

    To give you an idea of what I'm writing about, have a look at the "My Story - Maybe" post. *Prays that nobody knicks his baby* - it's the same as kidnapping in my books :O
     
  7. itsinfinite

    itsinfinite New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Missouri, U.S.
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I came up with characters and a very basic idea of what I wanted to have happen. What I ended up writing to start with, wound up being a prologue.

    If you can't figure out what to write, or how to start, i usually finds that it helps to just sit down and write about your main character. You could just write a background for him/her and see where that goes. That way, you're in the frame of mind of your story, already, when you sit down to start that first chapter.

    Good luck :)
     
  8. Killbot608

    Killbot608 prototype killing machine

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,305
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    I'm Omnipresent
    Ratings:
    +24 / 0 / -0
    mine was like... i dunno. thinking about it it was such an amazing freak occurrance when i started mine. i just had an idea, i started writing and became something amazing. *toots horn* it fanned out into such a perfectly realistic fantasy world and i've never had such an amazing idea since. i started by leaving a lot of unanswered questions in the prologue, make the natural human urge to know force them to read on.
     
  9. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    kb, i want to see this story
     
  10. Kally

    Kally Driving my own destiny.

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,747
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +57 / 0 / -0
    Me too!
     
  11. lotrconfan

    lotrconfan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I've heard that it's best to just write your story, then cut your first chapter. Usually the story actually starts at chapter two. Personally, that wasn't the case for me.
    Make sure you don't start out with backstory. It's hard to pull a reader in when you start in the past. I'm not saying you shouldn't have a prologue or anything like that, just be careful where you start out.
    A lot of people write an outline before they even start a book. I didn't for my first but am now trying it for my second. We'll see how it goes. I think in general I'm going to go by it, but if something comes up, change as needed.
    Also, make sure you start out with a strong character. Not that the character has to be strong, there's a difference. Even if you start out with the bad guy, it has to catch your audience's attention.
    As the others said above, please post an excerpt!

    Cassie
     
  12. Nocturna

    Nocturna New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0 / -0
    For me, the first chapter is incredibly important. As a reader (and writer), if the first chapter isn't intriguing enough, it puts me off. Like right now, I'm reading a novel written by a relatively new published writer. The first chapter just didn't get me..so I've been having trouble getting into it ever since..even though I'm halfway through and the story IS improving and becoming much more exciting.

    None the less, I definitely think you need a "hook' of sorts in your first chapter. There are so many ways to start off a novel/writing, so you can't really say "it needs to start this way"..but the important thing is to make it interesting. It has to grab the reader, or they simpy wont care. I think the main character is normally most important in the first chapter. Introduce them and/or their situation in one way or the other. Do something that makes the person want to read further.

    It's easier said than done, but if you write when you're inspired, and not just telling yourself to write, you should be able to come up with something good.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  13. Sabbz

    Sabbz pooky

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    fan fiction? o_O
     
  14. Sabbz

    Sabbz pooky

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    to everyone, thanks for ur posts - advice really helps :)
     
  15. HighWizard-Silvinesh

    HighWizard-Silvinesh New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Beautiful Northern Ontario Canada
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    To me, the first chapter should set the stage for the rest of the book. It generally introduces the reader to the characters and places they are about to experience. This will help to draw your audience into the world and relate to the people you have created

    Looking at my own story, I ended up going back and writing chapters 1, 2 & 3 after I finished the novel. Once I did, it seemed to all fit together, it only enhanced what I already had.

    The best advice I can give, is to first plan where your story is going. Who are the people going there, and how the characters will accomplish what you have in store for them. Having a theme or vision for your story also keeps you on track. What are you trying to share? What lesson are you trying to teach throughout the story? My own story tries, to teach acceptence of those who are different, whether it is the color of their skin, their geneology or their size. I also try to stress the importance of family and how, in the end, it is all that truly matters, to any of us.

    Oh, one other thing, have fun writing! :draught:
     
  16. Artisteri

    Artisteri Webcomic Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Ooh, I love writing too but I'm not sure if my openings are gripping or attention grabbing enough.

    Usually I either start with some intense action or peril that is later explained... or some frank statement that is obviously wrong (such as: Today was the day she was going to die.) And then again, explain the situation.

    I checked out your work on DA though, and it's great work. Seeker Part 1 I liked muchly~