The difficulty of this is always the first sentence, and even the entire chapter. The best thing to overcome this imminent fear is to just write or start the first chapter with something important.
But it has to have some great importance with the main character. A prologue can be necessary when it is needed, when you cannot even sqeeuze it into a flashback because there’s no real reason why it should be there. But it has much to do with them. It creates tension for them it creates a voice for them.
Most of the books I read and loved always had plenty of tension for them, neither had rather normal beginnings from the beginning. As the character need to stand out otherwise they are going to just disappear because they are so ordinary they have no place in my mind. Which became a rule of thumb I follow. Thus, they need to struggle from the very first word. There isn’t space for introductions, that can come in alongside the action. It can be hesitation, a difficult thought. As long as something happens which shows their personalities rather than explaining.
Start with action. It doesn’t need to have the main character kicking ass, as long as they are doing something important to them. Important or not, it has to introduce them. To introduce them and still interest me, they must be utterly fascinating or your writing is excellent. Which also shows their characters rather than tells them to the readers itself.
I generally hate the usual routine because why should I care about them? If the first chapter doesn’t hook me then why should I read on? That’s where tension, foreshadowing or even actions has to come in within the first chapter. Otherwise, I don’t really want to know about them. Even if I want to push on but chances are I take nearly forever to. Which is really important to show those struggles they have, define who they are. But if there is really nothing interesting, do foreshadowing from within.
What about you? What do you think is absolutely necessary in the first chapter? Please leave comments below.