Monday, July 11, 2011

Perfect Beginnings

Quote of the Day: "Life is nothing but a test, of your adventure skills." By my nine-year-old daughter.

Gulp. The first chapter. So important but so tricky to get right. Well here is a little bit of advice that might help.

The five W’s of perfect beginnings:

Who – establish the main character and at least one important thing about him/her that will help the reader identify with and care about him/her.

When – a sense of time. Don’t leave the reader guessing—it frustrates them.

Where – a general idea of the setting as seen through the eyes of the main character.

What – What is the problem of the story. The main problem should be established early on because it sets the tone for the whole book.

Why – Why does the story start here. Why is this day different from any other. What is the inciting incident.

For more advice on writing the perfect first chapter, see my post at Utah Childrens Writers.


  1. Another great post. You have a very talented daughter. Have fun at Tahoe!

  2. I do like that quote from your daughter.

    I often find it difficult to decide where to start the story. I read recently that you should start as close to the end as possible. That sounds like good advice, but when I think about it, it just seems to give me more choices to make.

    BTW, I've tagged you and given you an award or something like that on my blog. Come on over.

    Building Castles on the Beach

  3. The quote is great! As is your post. I want this subject or one of editing for a guest post in August.