First, just a small “Eek!” because I found out MY EPIC FAIRY TALE FAIL is now up on NetGalley. That means people could be Reading It Right Now! So scary and exciting!
Okay, so as I’ve been revising UnFairy 3, something about the opening chapters has been bugging me. Finally, I created a spreadsheet that lists the action, length, and location of each chapter. And what did I discover? That my opening is BORING.
The first chapter is full of tension and danger, but after that the characters mostly walk, talk, and look at things. Snoooore. Those chapters are important to the story, however, so I need to find a way to make them more interesting.
Here are some things I’m going to try:
-Tension! I’ll be revisiting The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass, who gives lots of tips on adding tension, especially in places where it doesn’t naturally exist.
-Conflict! Right now, there’s some internal conflict and some external conflict, but both need to be heightened. A lot.
-Stakes! The stakes for Jenny are pretty high, but I think I need to clarify them so that we really feel she has something to lose. Perhaps having her imagine what her life will be like if she fails her mission will help solidify how important it is for her to succeed.
-Humor! I know that when a story makes me laugh, I’m excited to keep reading it. So on top of the things I listed above, I’m going to keep pushing the humor to help engage (and entertain) readers.
I’d love to hear your tips! How do you spice up boring chapters?