Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chapter One

It's not often that I chuck the entire file for a book and start over. For one thing, even when I embark on deep revisions, I can usually use some part of what I've written. Surely, I can tuck some bit of a scene here and there.

This time...I think not.

For the last week, perhaps more, I've been on a reading jag, plowing through a series I particularly enjoy. Since I've read the books several times before, this time I spent a part of that reading experience analyzing how the author organized, plotted, wove together the stories. What words did she use? How did she reveal the characters?

I've been away from my own book long enough to look at it with more clarity. And this is what I see. I rushed through the first chapter in my haste to get to get to the beginning.

So...if this isn't the beginning of the story, why is it the first chapter? Why isn't it the beginning?

Here's what I've concluded. The first chapter--at least the first several pages--was information I, as the author, needed to know. It's background, unnecessary to the story. And in fact, drags the story to a grinding halt.

So where does the story begin? I'm not sure.

Now it's time for me to look at my own work with the same critical eye I used on the books I've been reading. Now it's time to analyze where I went wrong.

Back to the drawing board. Chapter One.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, I truly feel for you, love. Been there more than once. In fact, I am sitting here trying to figure out what went wrong with one that I started out so well with...only to fizzle and chug to a total stop. Too much too fast, I think. Told the entire story in the first four chapters and now have nowhere to go. Maybe I'll make it a Quickie...LOL!