This is stupid and I am a little upset!


This is going to sound ridiculous.

I am working chapter one of a rough draft and I’m starting to hate it very much. But I feel conflicted because I don’t want to delete it. I guess I am mad because it is starting off so slow and boring even though I haven’t gotten to the “best” part yet. Plus it’s in third person and I’m not that great in third-person narrative either. Look. I know it’s a rough draft and I shouldn’t be stressing so much but it’s bothering me a lot. I get I can edit it later but it’s nonsense that I am feeling this way. What do you think?


Try writing it in first person narrative and see how it feels? Then you can slowly work your way into third person narrative? Or start your way backwards, from the best part and when you’re done, flesh out the boring bits?
Nah, it doesn’t sound stupid at all.


Could you paste it here so we all could see?


You mean me?


Yes, of course


Honestly, chapter one gets so many of us riled up because we want it to be perfect. But perfection can be so hard to obtain, especially when we are just starting the story. A first chapter is so much easier to capture once we’ve written more of the story and have a better understanding of the character’s.

The advice I always try to give with a first chapter is give the readers a strong sense of who your character is. Show them their personality and heart. Sometimes that requires a slower start and sometimes it mean jumping into a more lively scene.

I have a slower first chapter, but I also show the connection between the two character’s and their personalities. Their longer conversation helps people to get to know them and connect. Maybe I’ll find a better first chapter when the book is finished and maybe this is the first chapter I was meant to have.

With my other book, I actually turned my first chapter into chapter three and added two more at the beginning once the book was done.


Umm… yeah. It’s long but it’s not done. Sorry.

A frown broke across Kennard’s face as he awakes from his sleep groaning groggily while stretching his body. He was starting to get nightmares again about his past and it was preventing him from having a good night’s sleep. The morning sun peeked through his curtains shining little rays of light onto his bed. Kennard turned around with his leg swinging off his bed to stand up then walk over towards the curtains pulling them apart. Other day he thought to himself as he stares into the early morning day groaning. The thought of heading to headquarters knowing that he has not gotten a ounce of sleep is irksome. But he already knew that being a Conquistador was going to be a tough job so why get so worked up over nothing.

Kennard remain still and silent gazing out the window until the sound of the alarm clock going off caused him to jump a little. When he turned around to face the other bed, he sees his roommate and best friend Felix getting up his sleep. Felix stretches and yawns loudly then proceeds to get out bed to use the toilet though he stops once he catches sight of Kennard. 

Both Felix and Kennard are very close friends. Not only that they are the same age which is nineteen and both along with another friend travel together sometimes performing their duty as Conquistadors. A Conquistador duty is challenging and also life threatening. What they do is kill Berserkers and fallen angels before they cause harm to innocent people. They are also paid very well if they do their jobs right. In all honesty, Kennard only chose to become a Conquistador for revenge unlike his friends Felix and Amaria who are much more noble than he is.

“Did Leader Raylene give you a new assignment yet?” Felix asked Kennard, “I heard that she was having you work alone this time after that incident with Soren.”

“Yes, I’m going to the town of Blancathey today,” Kennard answered him back, “listen that whole thing with Soren was really messed up. I wasn’t expecting the guy to go out guns blazing but I also wasn’t expecting us to arguing most of the way there. The bastard went and got his arm torn off. Soren has problems.”

“People said that Soren is a screwed up individual and likes to picks fights,” Felix responds with a light chuckle, “but why doesn’t Raylene just team you up with someone else or with me and Amaria?”

“I guess Raylene wants to try taking on this job alone,” Kennard explains to Felix who walks into the bathroom, “I mean some Conquistadors take on Berserkers and fallen angels alone without the help of anyone.”

“Yes, and those be the ones that die quicker or get severely hurt!” Felix shouted while in the bathroom so Kennard can hear him, “It’s rare that a Conquistador comes back to the headquarter alive or unhurt. I guess you are one of those lucky ones.”

Kennard thought about it and wonder about it. Since he has been working as a Conquistador, he hasn’t been getting hurt badly which and it’s been a year. He has been trying to be careful but also hardworking too. Felix has gotten hurt to the point that he nearly died yet he continues to work his behind off. Yet Raylene wants Kennard to take on a job for the first time alone without any help. How can he possibly do it? Does the leader have that much faith in him or is it something else entirely? Kennard wasn’t sure himself and needed to know before he leaves on his next assignment. Felix came out the bathroom drying off his hands with a towel. He noticed that Kennard was deep in thought then he glance at the clock to check the time. It was 7:48 am and they both needed to hurry.

“We should hurry to headquarters Raylene is probably expecting you right away,” Felix said to him while rushing to get his clothes together, “I have to meet Leader Apollonius for my assignment which is in Xalphie City.”

“Right. But back to what you mentioned earlier, I highly doubt that I am that lucky,” Kennard told Felix, “careful maybe but not lucky. Anyway, I really need to know about Raylene’s decision.”

“Either way, do whatever you need to,” Felix tells Kennard.

 The two of them scrambled to get their things and prepare for the day. They both left at separate times but were able to get to the main building which is the headquarters. The headquarters is actually a castle that was home to a famous deceased noble. After the noble and his family died the castle was left to ruins but was restored by the founding Conquistadors centuries later. It was around that time that fallen angels appeared along with Berserkers. Kennard knows the story of them and how countless Conquistadors died or were too injured to continue working. Thinking about it really is rare that some turn out like Kennard which is lucky or in his case careful. 

As he arrived to the main building, Kennard went to Raylene's office to seek her out. Inside her office, Raylene is sitting at her desk writing on some papers though she stop when she looked up to see Kennard entering. She glanced at him and signaled that he sit down in one of the chairs in front of her desk. Kennard sits down but he was a little on edge for he never like being alone with Raylene for she intimidates him. She even had that face that shouts why are you here wasting my time and not doing your assignment? that Kennard was able to read. Kennard had to make this quick so he can head to Blancathey and do his assignment alone which is something he is dreading very much. 

“Leader Raylene, before I go to Blancathey I need to know why I you chose for me to go there alone,” Kennard asked her curious about her decision, “I seriously hope it has nothing to do with thing that had happen with Soren. That wasn’t my fault by the way.”

“No, that has nothing to do it,” she explained to me, “I just wanted to have you try this one alone.”

“You do realize how dangerous this is, right?” Kennard stated to her, “the Conquistador population rate is a weird one. It tend to fluctuate depending on the time of year for some strange reason. But even still a lot of Conquistadors are dying or getting seriously hurt or even traumatized by working the job. And you think I can handle doing this alone?”

“This is not my idea, Kennard!” she tells him the truth, “it was the higher-ups who suggested this and I think that it was unfair of them to even consider it. But they must see something that I don’t.”

“The higher-ups?” Kennard repeated then said, “are you seriously saying that the Masters wants me to take this assignment to test my skills?”

“I guess it makes a little sense since there will come a time when you will need to handle a Berserker or a fallen angel alone if problems arise,” she says, “don’t worry I have a Conquistador on standby if things look grim while on your assignment. So you won’t have to worry too much.”

“Thank you so much, Leader Raylene,” Kennard said to her, “I’ll be going to Blancathey now.”

He started to feel a little at ease but still worry about doing a job all on his own. Raylene continued back to her papers then Kennard stood up from the chair. He left the room then heads down the hallway to go back to his dorm room and grab his belongings. On his way there, Kennard meets up with Soren much to his dismay. He notices by glancing at his arm that it's prosthetic. Soren is only a year older than Kennard but he likes to make it a habit of letting the younger Conquistadors know that he is better than them while kissing ass to the Leaders and other higher-ups. Kennard never liked Soren because of his jerk ways and how he like to argue so much. Not only that he is a very messed up person when you get right to it. Soren stared heavily at him with the eyes of someone who had business that needed to be taken care of. Kennard didn't have the time nor patience to deal with Soren's bullshit or games right now. 

“Thanks a lot, jackass!” Soren said angrily at him, “because of you I lost an arm. Where the hell were you when I needed backup-”

“Nice to see you too, Soren,” Kennard says to him with a smile hiding his inner rage, “may I remain you that it was you who was demanding that we do things your way then went in there guns-a-blazing so sure of yourself.”

“You still could I helped dumbass!” Soren raised his voice getting annoyed, “so it’s my fault that I did everything wrong when you did nothing? My goddamn arm is gone thanks to you.”

“I would love to stay and chat some more but I have to go,” Kennard tells Soren while walking past him, “I got to go and do my assignment.”

Kennard could hear Soren cursing up a hurricane behind him but he ignored it. Checking the time, he needed to hurry so he can get to do his assignment for his was running late. Back at the dorm, he gathered some of his belongings such as clothes, money, a few electronics, and bits of other things all in a large bag. The town of Blancathey is from what Raylene told him is a small but bustling town that is very rural. Kennard left the dorm building where he stand there waiting for a car to take him to the train station. Alone. He'll be alone this time and sure there will be someone one standby but how fast can the person even get there. 

The car ride was boring since Kennard had no one to talk to. He stay on his phone browsing the web as time pass until they reached the train station. When the car arrived there, he had to wait even longer for the train to come which was a hour and ten minutes. It's good that he charged his phone last night but the waiting is the hardest part. Kennard thinks about all the assignment he has ever been on which isn't a lot and thought about how he survived them all. Was it really all just good luck? Is he just simply good at his work? He has only been on six assignments since he has been a Conquistador which is and isn't a lot to some of the other Conquistadors. But Kennard hasn't died or gotten severely injured during those mission and he's a hard worker. Some of the other Conquistadors are saying that he is similar to a General/Leader in power and strength. And yet Kennard is still feels like he is lacking in some areas because he is nowhere close to being a General. 

Maybe he was a little different. His close and best friends had near death experiences while he did not. Though something linger in the back of Kennard mind that he can not shake on why he so good. There are others who are tens or thousands of times better than him and are alive. Plus they have the battle scars to prove it. Kennard doesn't feel worthy of this assignment in the slightest and it was making him a little annoyed. These feelings weren't clouding his mind and Kennard knows he needs to be in the best shape to fight off a Berserker. The train finally arrived which made things a little bit better for him. He went onto the train then enjoyed the lonesome ride deep in thought. The ride to Blancathey was a two hour ride and boring would be enough to kill a deity. 

Without realizing Kennard dozed off into sleep. He started to dream of a dream that involved black smoke and flames. Standing before the flames is person, that person appears to be a girl with golden brown hair and wearing a red ball gown that is tattered. The girl is screaming for someone but the sound is incomprehensible to person begging the girl not to go inside the huge manor. The girl ends up running into the burning manor ignoring the other person who is unseen. Inside the girl face is still not shown to the unseen person but she is confronted by a Berserker that's when the screams grow louder and turns into cries of terror which awake Kennard. He breaks into a cold unable to fathom what has happened next but he knows that it was not good. 

He was unable to sleep after that then proceeds to check his watch to see that it's almost time. Kennard is close to Blancathey and he'll finally get to kill Berserker or Fallen Angel but he'll be doing it alone. Getting off at the station, he finally reached Blancathey and exit the empty train station walking what felt like miles just to get to people. The time is now 1:55pm and he needs to find start finding where the Berserker and/or Fallen Angel is hiding in this town. He decided to go ask some of the locals some questions to hopefully get answers. Kennard walked into a nearby diner to get some answers there. The moment he went inside was not a pleasant one for all eyes were on him. People stared, gawked, and even glared at him like he had some plague or deformity. Kennard continued making his way inside and noticed the country folk were not giving him nice looks as he kept on his way. He walked to the counter then sat down to looking at the waitress who gave him a confused look. 

“Excuse me, I wanted to ask you something if you let me,” he tells her in a hushed tone, “I need to know if any bizarre events have been happening in your town that you can’t explain.”

“If there is what are you going to do about it?” the waitress said with a snide retort, “what can someone like you do? Why is someone like you even here in the first place?”

“It’s for a job and nothing more,” Kennard explains without stating too much to her, “look have you seen anything or not?”

“No. And even if I did why should I tell an outsider our business?” the waitress snapped at him with a pop of her gum, “get out of here! I don’t like you newcomers coming here ruining our things.”

Kennard started to get a little hurt by her actions then looked around at everyone who appeared to be on the waitress's side. He tries to laugh it off but then noticed that nobody was taking his  slight laughter remotely seriously in which he stopped. Kennard gazed around the diner staring at the customers who glares at him with such hateful and mean eyes. He left the diner seeing as there was no need to stay any longer for he wasn't going to find his answers there. Into the cool springtime air with the bright shining sun beaming on his skin, Kennard heads downs the street looking for clues for his job assignment. As he walks, people that he passes by are glancing heavily at him like they never since something so different before. But he ignored them and tries to focus only on his work which is to find the Berserker or the Fallen Angel that is hiding in this town. 

While searching through the town's old ruins, Kennard stumbled upon the damaged old red barn out in the grassy fields. Could the Berserker be here? Would it even come here to hide from the citizens of the town? As soon as he was about to search the old broken down barn, a voice crept up behind him with something hard pressing against his back. Kennard raised his arms slowly turning around to face the voice that was behind him. The voice was that of a man. A man who appeared to be in his mid thirties with dark denim overalls and a light blue shirt. His boots had caked on mud and blood on it.


I posted it and it doesn’t look right to me. Far as how it’s shown on here. What the hell happened?


The threads do this to me sometimes too. Don’t worry about it.

But question. Is this story meant to be in past or present tense? There’s a lot of hopping back and forth.


It’s in present tense. I am terrible with tenses and it’s bad. I seriously need help with that.


I see that. My big thing was that I could not write in third person to save my life. This went on for like twenty years until I finally found the right story. Tense you can learn by hiring an editor who is patient and is willing to really show you the difference.

What I notice here is that you hand over the emotions rather than showing them to the reader. Instead of using ‘she says angerily at him’ show us the anger more.

Showing emotion through character action/reaction is a great way to bring the scene to life and help show your character’s better, as well as cut down on dialog tags.

You don’t always have to show the emotion, but when you really want it to take the center stage and set the scene, it can be very valuable.


Thank you very much. I would hire a editor but I need money for that and I have none. I don’t know where to look for “free” editors.


I mean an editor on here. They aren’t allowed to charge money. Usually the payment is a few comments on their story or a follow. You can find them in the ‘story services’ club.

You should check to make sure they know what they’re doing.

You can also read a few professionally written books written in present tense to get a better feel for it.


Ah, okay then. Anything else about the chapter that needs work or is okay?


It was honestly hard to see the story behind that issue. I’ve done a lot of critiquing and when there’s a consistent issue, it’s really hard to focus on the other issues.

I think after an editor helps you to learn the tenses and after you’ve worked on showing your character’s more, a critic can help see what else the first chapter might need.

I don’t think it’s boring at all for a beginning. It just needs some fine tuning.


Wow, thanks so much for the input. :slightly_smiling_face:


Like I said, the tags are pretty heavy, which distracts from the dialog. But that can be fixed.

Felix responds with a light chuckles= Felix chuckles lightly.

Felix said (says) to him while rushing to get his clothes together= (before dialog) Felix begins rushing through the room, trying to get his clothes together.

Soren said (says) angrily at him= Soren takes one step closer to him, hands on her hips and a glare in her eyes.


Umm…Soren is male. LOL!


Well, then he crosses his arms.


Anyone else?