I structure my stories a lot like a tv show. Each chapter is a mostly self contained story within the larger novel.

Due to this, my first chapter is three parts. Structured as a three act opening arc. It’s about the characters coming together and the traumatic event that turns them into the beginnings of a found family.

I did this because there’s a lot of setup that proceeds the main story and because a 35k opening chapter would kill readers.

They’re not slow chapters and are full of action, but the status quo isn’t established until the end of the third.

I decided to do this because it might help the reader feel like a part of the family if they’re introduced to the characters at the same time the characters are introduced to each other and if they live through the traumatic events along with the characters.

A reader judges the viability of a book mostly based on the cover art then blurb then first chapter.

Would you be put off by such length setup or would you see it as just another part of the story?

I’m not sure how well I explained that so feel free to ask for clarification.

EDIT: I should probably mention that it’s a character focused slice-of-life, so the overall story is the character development. Had it been a plot focused story, I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time on setup.

EDIT 2: The story is about the characters time together and I think showing how they met is an important part of that.

Source: reddit post


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