|Posted by Brook on June 23, 2014 at 6:20 AM|
I say the dreaded first chapter because many writers struggle with this chapter. JK Rowling actually wrote the first chapter of the Philosopher's Stone fifteen times before she was happy with it. And when you think about it, alot has to be deftly weaved into this chapter.
Your opening sentences must provide the reader with some reason to carry on reading. In the case of the Philosopher's Stone, it was the Dursleys who are introduced first with their values of 'being normal' and their fear of anything slightly 'strange.' So by the end of the chapter when the little orphan Harry is carried to their doorstep by three odd looking people, you know that their lives will never be the same again.
Any first chapter must also contain a setting and character description. The description of the Dursleys provide a light tongue-in-cheek humour which is carried on throughout the book. Light is contrasted with darkness. Humour with the evil Lord Voldemort or the one who must not be named.
Along with an interesting opening, entertaining humour, an element of mystery is introduced to keep the reader in suspense.
Was JK Rowling successful after 15 attempts at chapter 1? We think so!