What do readers look for in the first 3 chapters of a story?



What are some important things that authors should include in the first 3 chapters of a story? Something that must catch reader’s attention. Please help me list a few :slight_smile:


Well I normally let the readers customize and get to know their character… Then I might put in some choices regarding their love interests… Just make sure you get the readers to understand what your story is about. Make sure to leave off right before your characters are about to do something exciting so readers keep reading :wink:


Definitely take it slow and realistic (if you want it to be). There’s love interests, then they just fall in love in 3-4 episodes!? Love takes long time. Also, don’t be cliche and copy famous stories, like gang stories. Some people might stop reading because they already got a taste of that in Venomous or something like that. Be unique. But if you do make a story about a gang or a similar one, don’t make it too similar to other gang stories. JUST DON’T COPY, I should’ve just said that. I’m detailed. Ooh! Aaaannd, make the important thing detailed, but the minor things, not too much. That spiraled out of control. :dizzy_face::cyclone::cyclone::cyclone:



Yes, definitely. Cliffhangers are great lol. Thanks you sm for helping out :blush:


I assure you my story is not another gangster story lmaoo I’m sick of them too :joy: My story is somewhat of a cliché but not as much. I can share a small description of the story. Here: “Childhood friends Neil and Kinsley lose touch when Kinsley moves to Italy for the opportunity of a lifetime. But little does Kinsley know, Neil’s been in love with her since as far as he can remember! When things don’t pan out, will Neil still be waiting for her in their hometown and will she finally realize what she’s been missing out on?”


Mine is kinda cliche too.


1.Directing must be PERFECT
2.15-20 mins episodes long
lol I cant think of more :joy::joy:


Moved to Episode Fan Community as this is an Episode-specific post :v:t2:


I have to have a reason to continue. If it doesn’t seem like your plot has a clear direction, I probably won’t be continuing. I don’t care that “the first three episodes are pilots and the story gets much better from episode 7”. If I’m bored reading a story, I won’t bother continuing even if you promise that it gets better.
You don’t need to give the whole plot away, but there needs to be enough to keep me intrigued without being completely confused. Cliffhangers are good.
If a story has a more “cliche” plot, I’ll need to see something unique in the first three episodes if I’m going to continue reading.


I think the first chapter is the most important chapter. If you just make that chapter for customizations ONLY then chances are I won’t be reading it. Chapter 1 is what should bring the reader in, explain to us what is happening and why it’s happening, you get the gist of what i’m saying. If i’m only allowed to customize the first chapter how am I supposed to know if I should move forward with the story if I know nothing about it? y’know? this is more like a rant, but yeah and I think adding cliffhangers to chapters is what really will draw the reader in. However, I do get irritated at cliffhangers so make sure not all chapters ends with cliffhangers lol, especially if you take so long to update :sob:


Agreed, i’ve read so many stories where the author is like, “after chapter 5 the chapters will get longer/better/etc” & it’s like that’s a huge turn off because i’m wasting my passes to give your story a try, :sob: the way you started hit & run is what drew me in, and that’s what I liked about it! it was intriguing and you left the reader wanting more.


Thank you so much :grin:

Yeah, I used to do Instagram reviews and sometimes I’d mention that I felt like not much happened in the first three episodes or that I didn’t really know where the story was going and the most common reply was “oh it picks up from episode [insert number here]” or “oh it will all become clear from episode 10”. If nothing has caught my attention so far, I won’t continue reading. If I’m unsure after just one episode, I might continue but if I’m still unsure after three I won’t.


yep, I feel like if you’re not confident as an author and you show that by saying, “it gets better in episode [insert episode here] “ then what makes them think that the reader will want to read it if they are letting us know that the first few chapters are bad but it’ll get “better” :roll_eyes:


If readers like your story in the first three episodes, don’t take too long to update. I was reading two stories that at the finale they just stopped, and the authors haven’t written anything more for about 3 months. Please don’t be that kind of author! People will read your story if they’ve heard you update often. Sorry if that came off as rude.

Love, Cass.


I’ll definitely keep that in mind haha. Thank you!


This is a very good question because the early chapters are crucial to if a person will continue your story. I am excited to read this and see what other people say. I’ll comment myself later.


You’re right. I can understand why readers might feel that way. I’ll make sure not to include any comment of that sort in my story :joy:


No, that’s totally understandable. I, myself, am that kind of reader. I tend to lose interest if the author takes forever to update lol I make sure to update as often as I can.


Decent grammar is very important and a good gist of the story is too. If the character is in pain, make me feel that pain too. Paint a picture and set the story in enough motion to make people hungry for more.


Not all stories have the same thing in the first 3 chapters of every story, but what would catch the reader’s attention would be good directing. Like some impressive use of zooms and pans? Also the plot has to make sense and it’s gotta be clear. You have to make your first impression on your first 3 chapters, because that’s when they decide to continue.