I haven’t been satisfied with the first eight or so chapters of my novel for months now. I’ve read them out loud multiple times and while the grammar and structure are good, I wasn’t feeling it. Part of the problem stems from the fact that I had written the beginning of this book almost ten years ago. Life happened.
By the time I came back to the idea…well, I’m a much better writer now. I could see that the first chapters were weak and formulaic but couldn’t decide how to re-start the story. I didn’t want tons of flashbacks. I hate flashbacks.
I left the first chapters alone and worked on the rest of the book, letting the problem parts ride along in my brain unmolested. Sometimes I’d consider new on-ramps into the story but nothing was better than what I already had.
None of my editors or reviewers has ever mentioned this problem — until now. Lani sat down across from me and asked if I was “thin skinned”. She had read the first ten chapters then stopped and asked to meet. Because the first few chapters sucked. Because the differences she’d seen between chapters one and ten were HUGE.
She had some great suggestions and I think she was surprised to find me relieved instead of upset. Lani had put a target on what I could only see out of the corner of my eye.
Back to the drawing board. Shit.