Want to turn in homework or receive free critique? Be a #50FirstChapters subscriber! You’ll get reminders about upcoming webinars, links to the handouts and nothing else. Note: if you have signed up to my newsletter, you are NOT signed up for the webinars. These emails only go #50FirstChapters subscribers. Make sure you’re getting them!
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.
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! I love first chapters!
I host a free webinar free webinar series called Fifty First Chapters: Make Yours Stand Out. Come learn to advertise early your most interesting characters, your coolest action scenes, and the deepest irony of your premise.
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.
All of the previous sessions are available on YouTube. The links are below. Plus, each session, everyone who 1) signs up for the newsletter over on the right-hand sidebar —> and 2) leaves a chat on YouTube during the live session 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.
This seminar is hosted by a former grand prize winner of the LDStorymakers First Chapter contest. (That’s me.) But listen to how cool this is. Heather, my typical co-host, is also a grand prize winner. She happens to be my best friend. Coincidence, in this case, rocks. Two! Two grand prize winners! Ah, ah, ah.
Optional reading: Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder and Scene and Structure, by Jack Bingham. Get them at the library or order them used on Amazon. For the dates of upcoming session, click on the bottom session listed here, see my blog posts, or sign up for the newsletter. Hope to see you soon!
Session 8: Pitching to an Agent; (No handout for Session 8)
Session 12: Show Don’t Tell Part 1 (Airs On FB Live Jan 12 at 8 MST)
Finally, a special thank you to Paige Edward, Whitney Hemsath, and Rebecca Chartlon! They have given #50FirstChapters our first testimonials!
As a newbie writer, I spent a lot of time writing and reading about story. I entered a few contests for constructive feedback with less than stellar results. Discouraged, I thought I’d give #50FirstChapters a try. Nikki and Heather were able to cover areas of story I didn’t get. This year, I took third place in the LDS Storymakers First Chapter Contest in the Adult Mystery/Suspense category and first place in the ANWA BOB Contest under General Fiction. Thanks Nikki and Heather for teaching story instead of just talking about it.
—Paige Edwards, First Chapter Contest Winner
Planning a novel is a huge thing, but with their #50FirstChapters webinars, Nikki and Heather break it down into totally manageable tasks. Even better, their personalities continue to encourage you every step of the way.
—Whitney Hemsath, Previously Overwhelmed Novice 🙂Nikki and Heather deconstructed writing in a way that finally made sense to me. Writer advice is full of almost-incomprehensible slogans like “show don’t tell” and “kill your darlings” that are rarely well-explained. Not so, here. Nikki and Heather made all that advice make sense. I applied their teachings to my own writing and went on to win 1st place in a regional writing competition. I can’t believe the best writing advice on the web is absolutely free!—Rebecca Charlton, First Chapter Contest Winner
I LOVED the series of webinars you and Heather did on 50 first chapters! I stumbled upon them and I can’t even tell you in adequate words (which maybe doesn’t make me a very good writer haha!!) how thankful I am for those webinars!!! I am a brand spankin’ new writing newbie who has dreamed of writing a novel for almost as long as I could write. I just couldn’t figure out HOW to get started and turn those thoughts into a story. I have so much more confidence going into this writing thing now, and feel like maybe I can actually do this haha! Anyway, I really just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you SO much for taking the time to share your knowledge, experiences, and talent with everyone. I feel like after starring at your face for a week straight (I absorbed them as fast as I could, took SO many notes, paused in a million different places, and re-watched a few of them!) I kinda want to be your best friend !! You’re amazing! Congrats on the upcoming release of your book, can’t wait to read it! I hope I get the chance to thank you in person at Storymakers for completely changing writing for me!
–Angela Nelson Bricker, Newbie 🙂
(Angela sent that to me via private message and made my whole day. I just love her enthusiasm. Thanks, Angela!!)
It is such a privilege to meet fun, talented people. Paige, Whitney, Rebecca, and Angela you are awesome!!