What do you do when one trusted friend tells you to scrap the first chapter of one of the stories you plan on entering in the 2012 GH?
If it’s a chapter you love, chock-full of hilarious lines and
you’re not ready to hear the fateful directive to “chop it,” you seek a second opinion.
And when the Starcatcher sister offering said second opinion concurs, saying that she, too, thinks the beginning makes both hero and heroine look less-than-heroic …
Well, you bite the bullet and cut your beloved first chapter, which began life as a prologue to begin with. (I should have known that no one would be fooled by my slapping it with a “Chapter 1” header.)
It wasn’t easy to cut a chapter that starts out like this: “When Melinda’s now-ex-fiancé admonished her to grow up, she doubted playing tonsil hockey with a man old enough to be her father was what he’d had in mind.”
Okay, maybe a wee bit of “ick factor” lurks in that beginning. (Thanks, Anna, for putting your finger on that one. It may be why I didn’t final in the Rubies’ first line contest this time.)
Finally, I was willing to admit to myself that the pages didn’t paint either of them in the best light — even though they you see right away that Mel was overexaggerating Dave’s age.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t as painful as I expected. I plan to work in some of the funnier bits as part of the backstory — and when this novel makes it to publication, don’t be surprised to see Dave and Melinda’s “how it all began” pop up on the blog as an online extra.
I will survive my MS’s massive surgery — without too much bleeding, I hope.
I’m glad to have friends who’ll tell me the cold, hard truth — even when I’m not quite ready to hear it.
It’s so hard, isn’t it? You work so hard to create something and then you have to get rid of it. Hate when that happens.
Good luck, whatever you decide.
Thanks! It gives me the feeling the story won’t place in the contest I entered it in … in the original form. I am, however, enjoying the rewrite — so I guess everyone was onto something.
When do you get the contest results? Cuz you never know! I bet you didn’t think you’d get into the Golden Heart finals last year, didja? *grin*
I didn’t expect to final … but I sure did hope I would. 😉