HACK THE CRAFT™: Chapter Openings, Navel Gazing, and Sentence Order
 
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This tutorial comes courtesy of episode 136 of The Taylor Stevens Show. It is part 1 of 2 in which we cover the opening chapter of a YA novel. 

With this piece, we take a big picture look at the material with the goal of coming back for an overhaul rather than a line edit.

In part one we read through the segment to get a sense of the story and then go back to mark out the trouble areas. Here, our focus is on:

~~ Naval Gazing: What it is, the problems it causes, and how to avoid it.

~~ How to feed visual elements to the reader in the right order.

~~ Why we must establish a sense of time and place for anything that follows to make sense. 

~~ Why we have to show the reader what the character sees as she sees it and,

~~ How failing to do this creates confusion and a jarring reading experience.