Why that First Chapter has to capture a Reader

Why that First Chapter has to capture a Reader

I picked up a new mega long science fiction book from a well known author on Saturday and sat down last evening to languish in the sense of wonder.

Half an hour later the book was in the hall. Rejected. I felt disappointed and let down. The author had totally failed to deliver on the promise that he had made to me when I picked that book up.

what is your story

As a writer I mulled over the reasons it had failed to capture my interest while washing up. As you do. :-)

I know how hard it is to create a stonking huge book like this, so I am loathe to criticise the writer, and the book had some good reviews and quotes on the cover, so this has to be a VERY personal assessment so that I can learn and go forward with a better understanding of my own expectations.

Someone else may love this book.

By the end of the first chapter:

* I did not have one scrap of empathy or sympathy for the main character – I simply did not care about him or his world.

* I had no idea what he needed or wanted in his life, or what mattered to him. I had no clue what he feared most in life or what would happen if that event should occur.

* There was no energy in the writing. It was full of infodump and exposition and flat, even though several characters were involved in a dialogue for most of the chapter.

* There was no Inciting Incident/Trigger/Call to Action which would shock or encourage me into reading on. As a result, there was no Central Dramatic Question for the story to answer.

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Reconnecting with my Teenage Self   

Reconnecting with my Teenage Self  

In January 2014 I decided to take a break from writing romance fiction.

Why? Because I felt that something was not working.

Hard work does not bother me – it never has. But there comes a time when it is taking longer and longer to finish a romance project and I had to face up to a hard fact. It is taking longer because I didn’t want it enough.

I love writing. I love making friends with the characters who come alive inside my head. That’s why I have written 19 romance novels in 5 years, plus countless proposals and story notes and partials for more.

But somehow along the way I had jumped onto a hamster wheel of my own making which was turning faster and faster, powered by the stories and the contract deadlines. Deadlines I had pushed for. I know how important it is to be prolific in today’s publishing world.

Now it was time to jump off that treadmill and take some time to catch my breath.

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