You have your outline written, you know what to put inside of your book to add content, but how do you write your first chapter? Many of you may begin to panic right now, but your first chapter doesn’t have to hard when you follow these three elements of putting your first chapter together to entice your reader to stay with you (and your book) for the entire ride.
I am talking about your book that you want to write to help you stand apart from the crowd, separate you from your competition, and use as leverage to grow your business. If you’re writing fiction, please see my friend Elaine’s blog as a reference.
Moving onwards, before you begin writing your book, I want to tell you something that I have told my own students and it has helped me to visually see how my book will turn out. Your book is like building a house – you have to start your readers with the foundation of your book. So you need to include three different elements to begin building a foundation that is going to give your reader an idea of what they are going to learn and how it’s going to change their lives (without spilling the details in Chapter 1!)!
The First Element to Your First Chapter
Open with a relevant story that captures your reader’s attention. If you have read You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, she starts her first chapter out with a story about her buying a mattress to demonstrate the fact that she has been taught from an early age not to confront people, which resulted to her living unfulfilled (if you haven’t read You are a Badass you need to seriously read it. I just read it twice and it’s awesome!).
Another example is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki who started out his first chapter by a conversation between him and his dad to tell his readers that he has been curious about money since he was nine years old and it was that moment that got him to begin thinking about how to leverage his money to make him rich.
So what sort of story could you begin with to capture your reader’s attention? What is a story that made you question life or question the way things should be? What was the moment that lead you to do what you do now?
You can make your story as funny or serious as you want. Jen Sincero’s story is pretty funny while Robert Kiyosaki’s story is more serious. But which story makes you more authentic and human?
The Second Element to Your First Chapter
The second element you need your book with is to begin showcasing why your readers are reading your book. There is a myriad of ways that you can do this. If you take Jen’s way, she goes into how people are living an unfulfilled life because they are believing stories and myths that they have been believing in since childhood. She goes on to say that if I continue to read her book and apply what she says, I can not only be free from these myths and stories I keep telling myself, but I can begin living a life I deserve and want.
This second element usually ties into the story you began with. Pick up a favorite book you love reading and see how the author transition from a story to their point. This is what you need to be doing. You’re telling your reader why they are reading your book. You can say that quite frankly or you can go into another illustration to prove your point further on why your reader should finish your book.
Hit on your reader’s pain and struggles and then paint the picture of what their life could look like after they are done with your book, which leads us to the third element.
The Third Element to Your First Chapter
Tell your reader what they can learn when they commit to reading and applying what you taught to them inside your book. Give them that result – having an abundance of money, getting over their limiting beliefs so they can live life to the fullest, writing their first book, losing weight that will make them feel confident and bold! Whatever it is, paint a picture of the end results and let them know it can be theirs if they read your book.
Ready for a challenge? I want you to take the next 5 minutes mapping out your first chapter and write what you’re going to say during each element. Then all you need to do from there is to begin building the house to your book by adding your reader’s next steps. For example, in my book, Write Your Book in No Time, my readers go into their mindset and how they need to change that before they can begin writing their book.
What is your next step for your readers? Share in the comments below and let me know!