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Thread: Good Openers In Chapter Books

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW BrookieCookie777's Avatar
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    Good Openers In Chapter Books

    Been contracted to do a chapter book with a company. Having trouble with finding a good opener. It is an action type book so I'm wondering if I should describe surroundings first, jump into dialouge or start with some sort of action. Hooking a reader on the first line is tuff stuff! =)

    Thanks guys and gals!
    "Cowards die many times before their deaths,
    The valiant never taste of death but once."


    - Shakespeare

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrookieCookie777 View Post
    Been contracted to do a chapter book with a company. Having trouble with finding a good opener. It is an action type book so I'm wondering if I should describe surroundings first, jump into dialouge or start with some sort of action. Hooking a reader on the first line is tuff stuff! =)

    Thanks guys and gals!
    Something (the story) interrupts you MC's life. Open with the interruption.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW MsJudy's Avatar
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    Chapter book means early reader, so some brief setting of the scene may make it easier for the reader to understand what's going on.

    On the other hand, scene setting isn't as good a hook.

    So the scene setting, if you start with it, should probably be short and sweet!

    More chapter books start with some version of "My name is _____." Junie B., Ivy and Bean, Nate the Great all start with character. But that doesn't mean it has to be that way. The Time Warp series starts with action, and the scene setting isn't done until chapter 2. And the action isn't finished until chapter three--the scene setting interrupts it. And most kids seem quite capable of figuring out what's going on.
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  4. #4
    making a fresh start. brittanimae's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of starting with voice in chapter books. Get to funny on the first page somewhere. Just my $.02.

  5. #5
    Vengeful Crystaline Hawk 45C AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    Interrupt life with an explosion.

    "Marty was walking to school when his house/car/bike/dog/annoying sister exploded."
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW MsJudy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    Interrupt life with an explosion.

    "Marty was walking to school when his house/car/bike/dog/annoying sister exploded."
    What happened to the dinosaurs with guns?

    My sons are still waiting for that book.
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW BrookieCookie777's Avatar
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    Thanks so much J, Jud and Brit. Wonderful solutions! =) Sorry it took me so long to reply. Got a new laptop over the weekend and this Vista program is giving me major headaches.

    Zoombie . . . lol . . . since this book is about bugs I wish I could start it off like this "The narrarator was walking through the forest when she came across a can of bug spray . . . the end." ; )

    Thanks guys!!!!
    "Cowards die many times before their deaths,
    The valiant never taste of death but once."


    - Shakespeare

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