When I was done, I reread the opening chapter of my book and realized that I'm still not 100% confident about it. So, I've been trying to understand what my problem is. Why am I having so much trouble writing my first chapter?
So far, I've come up with two reasons why I'm making the first chapter harder to write than other sections of the book.
A. I feel like readers, agents, and publishers will use the first few pages to determine whether or not they are going to like the rest of the book. I'm telling myself that if they don't like the very first page, they're not going to consider the rest of it. I think there's some truth to this. After all, when I go book shopping, I often (but not always) open up to that first page and see if I can get into a story. If not, I'll move on. (Things like the back cover, opening the book at random pages and reading a scene, and other people's recommendations also play a role.)
B. I'm trying to make my first chapter accomplish too many things at once. Whether I agree with the need for this or not, I'm trying to introduce my protagonist and antagonist, their personalities and relationship to one another, an explanation for the title of my book, the time and place all within the first 8 pages. This really doesn't seem like an incredibly tall order to me, but it does go against my normal method of writing, of letting things unfold more organically. I feel like I have to hit all of my markers, and I think that's making the chapter feel more fast-paced than I actually want it to be.
Do you all have similar issues with your first chapter? Or, can you think of other issues we may be dealing with when we are trying to write our first chapters? What do you recommend for writing that strong first chapter?