Brenda Hill 

  Book Editing Services

Author * Editor * Writing Coach

1st Chapter Analysis & Edit

What is the most important chapter in your novel?

Some say it's the opening, others argue it's the ending.

Each chapter has a unique job to perform, but your 1st Chapter is CRITICAL to your success as a writer.

If you haven't incorporated at least three of the 5 Essential Elements in your opening pages, you risk losing the agent/publisher/reader long before they get to that fantastic last chapter.


A prospective client complained that the agent he queried didn't read more than a few paragraphs of his manuscript before sending it back with a rejection notice.

"The first couple of chapters might have been a little slow," he said, "but it really gets good in Chapter Three."

Well, in today's competitive market, the new writer can't afford to wait that long to make his/her novel interesting. You must hook your agent or editor by the first few pages, certainly by the end of the first chapter.
Some agents say they can tell in the First Paragraph if the piece is worth reading. They may read another few paragraphs, perhaps the entire page, but if the writer hasn't presented at least the first of the essential elements by then, off the manuscript goes with a reject stamp.


Have you included the 5 Essential Elements in YOUR opening chapter?


If you're not sure what is needed, or if you feel 'something is missing,' I'd be happy to Analyze and Edit your First Chapter.


I enjoy helping writers with their openings; for me it's the most exciting part of the editing process. I'll read your chapter and, based on years of experience working with writers, I'll talk to you about trouble spots that should be corrected as well as let you know when you have it right. Perhaps you know the elements and have incorporated them, but still, the first chapter drags, and you have no idea why.


Don't worry; I'll help you.


For a complete analysis and edit of your critical opening chapter - fiction only, $65.00 for up to 2500 words.

If your first chapter has more than 2500 words, please contact me by email for the fee.

Please send your chapter in MS Word format, double-spaced, as an attachment.

"I attended a workshop Brenda conducted for the Palm Springs Writers' Guild and it was very helpful. The workshop was about the important first page and it really opened my eyes. Any aspiring writer will benefit from Brenda's workshops. She is entertaining and insightful."

Ted Wakefield,

Palm Springs Writers' Guild


“A good workshop should be informative, practical, and well organized.  Brenda Hill’s 1st Chapter Workshop met the criteria in every aspect.  I was motivated to look carefully at the first chapter of each of my novels and implement Hill’s advice.” 

Libby Grandy,

Author of Desert Soliloquy


"About half an hour ago, I received another request for a partial from a literary agency. Brenda, I have to say a huge thanks. If it hadn't been for your advice on restructuring chapter one of my manuscript, none of this interest would be possible. I now have three agents and one publisher all interested in reading more.

Jenny Woodall,

writing as Victoria Howard


“I have attended a number of sessions on writing that all-important first chapter, but none as useful and informative as Brenda Hill's 'Critical First Chapter' workshop.  Her information hit all the right topics and was invaluable in the retooling of my novel's opening page and first chapter.”   

Jim McFarlin, President

Palm Springs Writers Guild


"Your class on "Critical First Chapter" was so helpful. It's now engrained in my writer's mind how important that is. Grab the reader while he's looking at your book, and you have a follower for life.”

Dodie Cross

Author of: A Broad Abroad in Thailand,

A Broad Abroad in Iran