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First Chapters: The Midnight Library (with Book Coach Sharon Skinner)

"Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?" — Blurb for Matt Haig's bestselling novel, THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY 

Abigail sits down with certified book coach Sharon Skinner to analyze the first chapter of THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY. This is one of Abigail's favorite reads in 2022 (it published in 2020), and it's also in Abigail's top reads. Sharon also loved THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY, and is an excellent coach to talk to about this book since Sharon specializes in TML's genre, (curio) speculative fiction. 

Join Abigail and Sharon for a first chapter deep dive analysis of Matt Haig's bestselling, award-winning novel! Following the traditional format for these deep dive episodes, Abigail and Sharon discuss how the *prologue in disguise* and first chapter set up expectations for the big picture (using Paula Munier's 7 Key First Chapter Questions from her book THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO BEGINNINGS), and then they zero-in to examine each scene's structure (using Story Grid's scene analysis tools, some of these also used by Robert McKee). 

In addition to the macro and micro analysis, Abigail and Sharon discuss:

  • Curio fiction, what this is and why it's a valuable sub-category in speculative fiction
  • What THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY is really about 
  • Why the POV works well in this novel, and why it wouldn't work if we were too close to Nora's POV
  • Why there is no one way to write (but how to use tips that can help) 
  • Plus, more actionable advice and tips that you can apply to your writing!  

 Did you read THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY? What did you think of its first chapter?


Don't forget to read Diane Callahan's article on Tor: What Is “Curio Fiction”? Finding a Name for a Fantastical Subgenre


Connect with us:

Twitter: @abigailkperry |@SharonSkinner56

Instagram: @abigailkperry | 

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