What is the most important chapter in your novel? Some say it’s the opening, others argue it’s the ending. I think they’re of equal value, but no matter which is more important, each chapter has a unique job to perform.
A prospective client complained that the agent he queried didn’t read more than a few paragraphs of his manuscript before sending it back with a rejection notice.
“The first couple of chapters might have been a little slow,” he said, “but it really gets good in Chapter Three.” Well, in today’s competitive market, the new writer can’t afford to wait that long to make his/her novel interesting. You must hook your agent or editor by the first few pages, certainly by the end of the first chapter.
Some agents say they can tell in the First Paragraph if the piece is worth reading. They may read another few paragraphs, perhaps the entire page, but if the writer hasn’t presented at least the first of the essential elements by then, off the manuscript goes with a reject stamp.
Do you know what they’re looking for?
Have you included the 5 Essential Elements in your opening chapter?