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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » first chapter not catchy enough

   
Author Topic: first chapter not catchy enough
tj5to1
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I thought my first chapter was catchy because is had suspense and a near miss or two, and the girl meets the guy. But, I guess it wasn't catchy enough. My first chapter rejection said that it didn't make her want to continue on to the next chapter. Maybe I got boring at the end. Should I end earlier, and leave a cliff-hanger with one of the near misses, and then start the next chapter with the conclusion of the near miss? I know TV does it right before commercials.
My target audience is 16-25 and those who like romance with a little complexity.

[This message has been edited by tj5to1 (edited September 29, 2010).]


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MrsBrown
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Head on over to the Novel Support Group http://www.hatrack.com/forums/writers/forum/Forum2/HTML/000218.html and ask if anyone wants to do a chapter swap. Can't provide feedback without actually reading it (sorry, I can't read for you).

On 2nd thought, maybe post the 1st 13 in F&F for Books and ask for folks to read your 1st chapter.

[This message has been edited by MrsBrown (edited September 29, 2010).]


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genevive42
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It's hard to tell without reading it but from what you've said if I had to guess, maybe there was too much emphasis on action and not enough on character. If there's a lot happening but you haven't had time to come to care about whom it's happening to, then there's not a lot of reason to read on. You want to make the reader feel like: What's going to happen to this character next and how are they going to get out of it?

Just my two cents.


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MAP
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I don't think ending the chapter earlier will fix the problem.

It is hard to guess what the problem is without reading the chapter. Maybe the reader didn't connect with the MC, or maybe there wasn't any tension (just because there is action doesn't mean there is tension).

There may not be a problem at all. Maybe this one particular reader just didn't find the story interesting.

Post the first 13 in F&F; I'm sure someone will be willing to give you a second opinion.


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TamesonYip
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I think MAP makes a really good point. Some chapters and story types don't work for some people. In the WOTF group when I got like 10 crits, I had some people who would say things like, great story- with polishing, I can see this being a competitor and other people were like, plot too slow, hated every character and a list of 20 things they hated about my overall writing style. And while I do appreciate the time everyone puts into the crits, I looked at them and said, you know what, can't please everyone all the time. When critting, if a story hits something I perceive in myself as just a selection bias (I can't stand reading books about X), I try to be upfront about it, but sometimes you don't realize those biases.
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