Want to Hook Readers With Your First Chapter? This Is the Single Best Way

Want to Hook Readers With Your First Chapter? This Is the Single Best Way

Today, I’m over on AuthorCulture, with the post “Hook Readers With an Opening Question.” Here’s an excerpt:

Writers are told time and again to start their first chapter with a bang. If you open in the middle of a murder, a high-speed car chase, or heist-in-progress, readers will be instantly hooked, right?

How is it, then, that Margaret Atwood dares open her hefty contemporary novel The Robber Bride with a main character’s morning routine: waking up, getting dressed, taking out the garbage, making breakfast?

This chapter is hardly the stuff of tabloid headlines. In fact, this is exactly what young writers are told not to do. At first glance, it might seem Atwood only gets away with this because she’s the Canadian grande dame of fiction, with a dozen bestsellers already under her belt. But that’s not true at all.

So what’s her secret?

Keep reading!

Want to Hook Readers With Your First Chapter? This Is the Single Best Way

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. Susan Brillhart says:

    Struggling with your Podcast archives. I search a topic, for example “first chapter” and a list of titles come up with dates. October, 2010 was one for this topic. I open a new window so I can go to that date without losing my search. I go to 2010, October. The title is not there. I double check. Nope that was the correct date. Double check title, nope not there. This has happened more than once. Last night I seached POV and about 25% of the time the date given did not provide the Podcast I was looking for. Frustrating. It would be much better if I could just click on the title I find with your search engine and it take me to the podcast. Then no problem with incorrect information and having to have to windows open.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says:

      Sorry you’re having difficulties! I looked into it, but I’m having trouble replicating the problem. Are you using the search field in the top of the right-hand column?

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