What’s the hardest part about writing a novel? It’s different depending on who you are, how you write, and what you write.
Still, you may have all the ideas and you may even have a quick outline, but beginning a novel can be tricky. It is, after all, one of the most important parts of your novel.
There are plenty of readers out there who not only read the book’s blurb on the back, but they already read the first paragraph or so of the first chapter.
Why? Because they want to get a feel for the writing style. They want to see if they’ll be hooked into the story right away.
If they are, they’ll buy it. If they’re not… well, maybe the next reader who is enticed by the blurb will be into it.
There are so many different ways to start a novel. There’s no certain way that will work for every novel. That would, of course, end up being boring and unoriginal.
Though while many books may start with a piece of dialogue or some ominous message, each one is different and unique because every book and idea is unique.
With that said, here are some ways you can start your first chapter.
Introduce A Voice
Begin with a piece of dialogue. I know there are some people out there who don’t agree with starting with dialogue, but I personally like it. It introduces a character (whether it’s clear who it is right away or not) and it also gives you a sense of what kind of character you’ll be following around.
You don’t even have to start with dialogue. If you’re writing in first-person, start with a thought from the main character. Or no matter what the point of view, start with some sort of point the character is noticing or thinking.
Get Right Into The Action
Throw your readers and your characters into the heart of the matter. Or, the heart of a matter that may lead into the main plot. The action is always enticing, especially when it starts the book off. The readers don’t know what’s going on, but if done right, they’ll want to know. They’ll keep reading and reading and reading.
Start Slow, But Not Too Slow
Feel free to ease your readers into the story. You can start with a typical day in the life of your main character or have them do something they would normally do that ends up affecting the plot somehow.
Just be wary of opening with your character waking up. That one gets old pretty quickly.
Throw In A Little Background
You want to keep your readers guessing, yet you want to give them something to work with. I’m not telling you to info-dump because no one wants that. However, giving a little insight to your characters and the world around them isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
We talked about this yesterday. Use at your own risk.