I don’t know why I’m so set on sharing what I know about first chapters with the world.
But I am.
So I’m doing a free web seminar.
I’ve never done a web seminar before, so it will be an experience! I plan to use Google hang-out and teach three thirty- to sixty-minute sessions over a three week time period starting January 8th. Everyone who signs up to attend will be entered into a drawing for a free critique of their first chapter.
DID YOU SEE THAT? A DRAWING FOR A FREE CRITIQUE?!
Holy awesome, you did.
I have serious love for first chapters, people. Serious love. Come have fun and be nice to me, okay? I’m new at this. (But I’m so excited! The only thing that compares with actual writing is talking about writing.)
This seminar will have info specifically geared toward anyone submitting to LDStorymaker’s First Chapter contest and is hosted by a former grand prize winner. (That’s me.) But listen to how cool this is. I plan to twist the arm of a second grand prize winner Heather Clark so that she will come team-teach at least one session (the first, we are currently thinking). Heather happens to be my best friend. Coincidence, in this case, rocks. Two! Two grand prize winners! Ah, ah, ah.
Here’s my witty course description: When your reader scopes your first chapter, imagine it like he’s trying to get a date. Does he pick the cute girl studying in the corner, or the gal who announces she’s new in town, has tickets to a hockey game, and is dying to try the local food rave? You know the answer. He goes for the girl who’s ready to live a new story, and yes, he goes for a first chapter that promises the same. Plain old good writing isn’t enough for a first date, er, chapter. Have you organized the flow of your story to advertise early your most interesting characters, your coolest action scenes, the deepest irony of your premise? Is it depressing to invent all that coolness and figure out how to show it off in the first 12-20 pages AND set up a story arc, theme, and inner conflict at the same time? Heck, no! First chapters are so full of promise that sometimes readers cheat on their existing books just to ride the first-chapter wave all over again with a new one. (Not me. I break-up first.)
Totally optional advance-reading: Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder, Scene and Structure, by Jack Bingham. Get them at the library or order them used on Amazon.
Yay! I can’t wait. Stay tuned. Next week I’ll have all the details what each session will cover and how to sign up for the free seminar & critique. We’re learning together everyone. It’s safe. It’s basically Sesame Street around here. Hope to see you soon!