The very first season of TEN DAYS OF WRITING has officially started, and we’re kicking off this thing with the theme of Beginnings (how fitting, Audrey)! Here’s how this is going to work:
Every day (from March 1st to 10th) a post about book beginnings will go up of AWA at precisely 8AM. (Yes, this is also a test to my self-discipline.)
Each post will tackle a branch of this wonderful theme and end with a little prompt or question to get you writing! You can set yourself a personal goal of how long or how many words you want to write each day during this challenge. (Personally, I’ve decided to challenge myself to write for half an hour every morning before work.)
*PLUS, you can take part in my personal wordcount tracker sheet, so we can all motivate ourselves to keep going!*
Here’s what’s on the menu for the ten days to come!
FAVORITE FIRST CHAPTERS
The following are some of my personal favorite first chapters ever. Since I’m a writer and reader of mostly YA fiction, the titles are pretty much all young adult fiction reads. I’ll be analyzing a few points for each chapter: point of view, length, and what I believe to be the biggest strenght of the chapter.
ONE: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
POV: Katniss, first person, present tense
Length: 16 pages
Strengths: The tension built around the reaping, the last line: Primrose Everdeen
TWO: Caraval, Stephanie Garber
POV: Scarlett, third person, tense
Length: 10 pages
Strengths: A series of letters, originality, the mystery around Caraval
THREE: The Fault in Our Stars
POV: Hazel, first person, past tense
Length: 19 pages
Strengths: Humour, Dialogues, Augustus Waters
FOUR: Shatter Me
POV: Juliette, first person, present tense
Length: 4 pages
Strengths: Voice, in the middle of a very bad predicament, originality in format
FIVE: All the Bright Places
POV: Finch, first person, present tense
Length: 15 pages
Strengths: Starting right at the top of the bell tower, ready to jump, Theodore Finch
SIX: The Book Thief
POV: Death (!!!) first person, present tense (later, past)
Length: 3 pages
Strengths: Unique POV and voice, unique format, UNIQUE
I tend to be drawn to books with a unique format at the beginning (The Book Thief, Shatter Me, Caraval), or when the stakes are high from the first chapter (The Hunger Games, All the Bright Places). And if there’s none of that, make me laugh. Make me fall in love with your characters (The Fault in Our Stars).
For the comment section below:
- Hi! What’s your name?
- What’s the genre of your WIP?
- What’s your favorite first chapter ever and why?
- Write about what you think makes a first chapter GREAT.
For your personal wordcount:
- Start a story (or chapter) in a different format than prose. (Letters, lists, text messages, video transcripts, epitaths! Play around with the form and have fun!)
That’s it for today!
Now go write!