The Do's and Don'ts for the first chapter

Gonna start writing a novel and need to know the do’s and dont’s for the first chapter!


No alarm clocks, mirrors or getting ready for school. Number 1 rule.



I don’t know, sorry

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There’s nothing like that I’ve got planned lol.

Any other cliches I need to steer away from?

“My name is _____ and this is my story”
Flashbacks and dreams.
Personally hate it when it just starts in the middle of nonsensical action.


Do: Jump right into your story. When do things really start to happen? That should be your first chapter.

Don’t: Worry about getting the entire backstory out at the start. There will be a time and place where it goes with the flow of the story and is more relevant and impactful.


None of those things I’ve got planned for my first chapt. So that’s good.

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  • add a hook.
  • start with action or exciting stuff.
  • keep it short (2k would do).


  • making it long would be bad.
  • no info-dumping.

A regular chapter should be between 3000 to 5000 words, when you’re considering actually publishing it on like amazon which is what I plan to do.

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That’s a different thing then, but most popular books here tend to have chapters between 2-3k words.

I think the best way to start is with a hook, something that draws the reader in. You don’t have to launch into the full story right away, but it’s nice to capture their interest right away instead of making them sit through a ton of exposition.

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The biggest rule of any novel, once the first draft is finished, chances are most (if not all) of the first chapter will be changed. Don’t get caught up on the first chapter and just keep writing.


I agree.

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  • Have a great opening line and opening paragraph to hook readers into your story.
  • Introduce your main character and some basic characteristics about them.
  • Start with action / diving directly into situation rather than starting off not near the action


  • Reused cliche openings statements (i.e. alarm clock, dreams, flashbacks, mirrors, waking up in general)
  • Info-dump the viewer with exposition. Describe settings slowly and don’t rush.
  • Describe everything about your MC all at once. This is especially common with mirror (or water puddle) scenes. Pace it out.

Thank you:)

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You read Nick’s thread, didn’t you? He says the same thing.

Lol no. But I think it’s universal at this point :joy:


True but at least review it once to edit basic mistakes.