The First Act
The first act of a novel is the first 20-25% of the story. The first act is an introduction to the main character and the purpose of the story. It should encapsulate all the answers related to the 5 W's: Who, Where, When, What, and Why, and it should do all of that before any of the real action begins. The reader should learn what everyday life is like for the main character and what they want that they can't obtain because of some lie that they believe.
After you confirm you have all the elements of a good first act, you will start narrowing in on the first chapter, then the first paragraph and first sentence. Each level has its own set of key elements.
Today's exercise includes a checklist you can work from in order to confirm you have all (or at least most) of the elements that make up a good first act. If you're skeptical of the list, pull out your favorite novel and see how it's first act stacks up.
Exercise: First Act Checklist
Many of the items in the First Act checklist will have already been tackled by previous exercises, so this is an opportunity to review and make sure you haven't missed anything.
First Act Elements List
DOWNLOAD: First Act Checklist Worksheet
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Go to Day 22 - First Chapter