Today's writing notes
Working on: Voyage of the Kaus Media 2nd draft
Yep, that's right! :) My editor got back to me with her notes, and we had a good long talk, and she made some great suggestions that I'm going to act on to help improve the manuscript! I'm moving forward, hooray! I was admittedly worried that she would hate the whole thing, but she didn't have any suggestions for some of my favorite parts like the epic dragon swordfights (that would be dragons fighting each other with swords, not other creatures fighting dragons with swords), so I'm pleased about that. :)
Today I'm tackling the task of rewriting the entire first chapter! My editor pointed out that it moves too quickly, and we also noticed that in my excitement to introduce the plot and the world, I neglected to introduce the main character. :) But that's kind of important, especially in this story where a large part of the plot centers around her character arc and personal growth. It's difficult to understand why she reacts the way she does, and appreciate how far she's come, unless you understand where she is coming from and what her situation was before she arrived in Zabetha.
So this new first chapter aims to fix that; rather than throw the reader into the plot right away, we're given a glimpse of who Angela is and what her struggles are. Hopefully this brief character-development detour before the crazy fantasy stuff won't make the beginning of the book less appealing. I'll have to confer with my editor about that.
But I also don't believe the beginnings of books necessarily have to be aggressively attention-grabbing to be compelling. I mean, The Hobbit starts off with a long essay on what exactly a hobbit is before we get to the wizards and dwarfs and dragons, and while that introduction is not exactly edge-of-your-seat suspense, it's fascinating and beautiful and does a wonderful job of whetting one's appetite for Middle-earth.
But like I said, I'll have to see what my editor thinks of this new direction for the first chapter. Hopefully it fixes more problems than it introduces, at the very least, and I'm on some sort of a right track.
Anyway, see, this is what happens when you write the first three chapters of a novel and then leave it alone for years. You get all sorts of disjointedness. :) Lesson learned!