How to start your first chapter
Question: How should I begin the first chapter? What techniques are there?Answer:
Obviously, the challenge with first chapters is to convince the reader that the story which follows will be worth reading. It's a tough assignment because you have to present at least one character your reader will take an interest in (probably your main character), get your plot rolling, and establish an appealing style and voice for your narrator.
Regarding plot, I suggest you begin by checking out the article "Beginning in medias res" (https://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/in-medias-res.html) in which I discuss one of the key techniques for your first chapter, and four particular options dramatica theory offers you.
Essentially, you want your first chapter to be about an event
. It is about something that happens that sets the plot in motion and gives the characters a new purpose. It may be a decision or an action, but either way it is something that cannot be undone.
Whatever this event is, it will also reveal something about the characters involved, such as their way of handling situations and their conflicts (internal and/or external). In the case of your main character, you may want to give the reader a reason to like him/her or at least relate to him/her.
You don't want a lot of description or background, and definitely no preamble (you can fill this in later). Give just enough specific details to establish the basic who, what, when, and where so the reader isn't lost.
At the end of the chapter, leave your reader wondering what will happen next - what the fallout of your opening event will be.
The other thing you want is a great opening line - something that is not a cliche and which grabs the readers interest. Not an easy task, so you may want to have several tries at it.