Top 5 Mistakes Authors Make – Mistake #2


Let's Talk Novels Podcast“Failure to introduce the lead character
in the first chapter.”

Solution: The first chapter belongs exclusively to your hero.


What did you think of Alton Gansky’s rejection experience? And how about the scene itself? It’s a powerful lesson about how great writing can be used against you! Imagine that! It just goes to show the dangers of 1) not knowing, or 2) not heeding reader expectations. Lucky you, you get to profit from me and my friends’ mistakes.

And I want to thank all of you who have introduced yourself in the comment section last time. Your comments are giving me great ideas for future podcasts and writers tools I want to share with you. If you haven’t already, please scroll down to the comment section and tell me a little about yourself. I really do want to meet you.

And I guess it’s only polite that I introduce myself to you and tell you a little bit about why I am doing this podcast and website. It’s a valid question, isn’t it? After all, it’s taking time out of my day that I could be using to write my own novels. So why am I “training my competition?” (I was actually accused of this at a writer’s banquet!)

To find out a little bit more about who I am and why I’m doing what I’m doing, here is a link to my bio page where you can hear how I replied to the accusation at the writers banquet. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ME

LTN Banner Terminal Justice

(If you’d like to read Al’s book yourself, or just want to read the infamous prologue for yourself, click on the sample above.)


  • There are no rules to writing novels, but there are reader expectations. If you violate reader expectations don’t be surprised when you get reader backlash. Some will simply stop reading. Some will get angry.
  • Readers expect the hero of the story to be introduced in Chapter 1.
  • If you have a great action scene in which to start your story that does not feature your hero, make it the Prologue. Chapter 1 belongs to your hero.
  • Think of Chapter 1 as your hero stepping onto the stage for the first time. Give them a dramatic entrance.
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