Writing a Strong Opening Chapter with Rania Battany

This week we have author Rania Battany sharing with us how to write a strong opening chapter. 

Rania Battany lives with her husband and three children in the beautiful Yarra Ranges, Victoria, Australia. When she isn’t getting her hands dirty in the garden, frolicking with her chickens or dog, or chasing after her three young children, she is writing contemporary romance novels that tug at the heartstrings or curled up with a cup of tea and a book.

Rania Battany on the web:

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Four tips for writing a strong opening chapter.

If you’re hoping to attract the attention of an agent, then your opening chapter needs to be strong. Even as an indie author, your opening chapter needs to draw your reader in, engaging them enough to want to keep reading. Below are four tips to help you build a strong opening scene.


Do you really need a prologue? Readers have admitted to skipping past a prologue and heading straight for the first chapter. If it’s a lengthy narrative of back story, best to give it a miss. It may be more effective to feed parts of this information throughout the book. If you believe that the prologue is essential, make sure it is short, sharp, and engaging. You do not want to set the tone for the book by boring readers with a lengthy or irrelevant prologue.


Don’t introduce too many characters in your first chapter. Start with one or two. Make their impact strong or interesting or mysterious. Readers need to be shown straight away why that character and their journey is worth their time.

Action and Pace:

The pacing or momentum of your first chapter is probably the most important thing to consider. Your opening scene needs to hook readers instantly. Focus on an important or intense scene, something that will immediately intrigue your reader and leave them craving more. In general, backstory has no place in a manuscript, but this is particularly important for your opening chapter. Boring readers with mundane conversation, slow moving action or tedious back story, will have them either abandoning your book or placing them in an apprehensive mindset.

Your opening scene sets the motion for your story, make it a strong one!

Fleeting Moments

Maya is floundering. She’s stuck in a dead-end job, is isolated from family and friends, and her father—the only person that ever truly understood her—has been gone four years. When her boyfriend leaves her for another woman, the rocky foundations of Maya’s life crumble to dust, and she sinks even further into the pit of grief and despair.

Until she meets him. Sam. The one with the animated smile and gentle eyes, who always sees the positive no matter how bad the negative. And the one who reignites Maya’s passion through his enthusiasm and zest, helping to rebuild her life, piece by piece. 

But when ghosts from Maya’s past resurface, her decisions almost destroy the few important relationships she has left, and the happiness she’s so recently found is threatened. She must overcome her demons and decide what matters most—the familiarity of the past, or the hope, love and possibilities of the future.

Buy on:

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Amazon Aust           Amazon UK


  1. Very good points. It's hard to get a first chapter right.

    1. It sure is. I've been reading a lot more lately to help with that. All the best. Rania

  2. Some great tips here, Rania. Congratulations on the release of your book.

  3. Interesting information. Have a great weekend Diane

  4. Great tips and the book sounds good.

  5. Thank you for the introduction to Rania and her books with some great tips.

  6. Good tips! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you Naas, very interesting!

  8. I love this post. I've never written a book, but you have strong arguments for how to handle a first chapter. Those are definitely elements I look for in books that I read and books that hold my attention.

    With Love,

    1. Hi Mandy, I am so glad you resonated with these. All the best, Rania


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