Friday, July 16, 2010

First Chapters

I'm rewriting the first chapter of FAKE tonight. Rewriting first chapters seems to be a thing I often have to do. The first drafts are always really flat, because I'm floundering and trying to find my feet in the story. It's usually just a character looking at things and commenting on things. My original first chapter for Ambulance was just Zach getting to school, hanging out with his best friend, then making out with his best friend. Then it was on to the second chapter, where the action started.

That was totally lame. Then I discovered Valerie Kemp's wonderful blog, especially her amazing post about first chapters.

The revised first chapter ended up skipping the boring social commentary Zach makes, and getting right to the conflict: Zach and Patrick fighting over how to define their relationship.

Valerie's blog post was just the kick-in-the-pants I needed to go from booooooring to WOW.

And so, with FAKE, I took the first chapter from "wtf, this chick is just sitting at the dinner table watching her family" to "WTF this chick is deliberating picking a fight with her parents in front of national TV cameras!!!"

It appears that most of my first chapters including fighting, in some way... hmmm...


  1. Thanks so much for mentioning my post! I'm so glad it was helpful! First chapters can be the biggest pain in the butt.

  2. No problem, Valerie! It's a huge help, I totally have it bookmarked :)