The best thing about being a part of the Houston Writer's Guild, is having a group of people who give me an undivided 10-15 min. of their time each week.
I love being the center of attention!
That is... when the time is devoted solely to critiquing my work, of course. ( ; Haha. Now I realize this spotlight attention and critique is just an obvious perk that comes with paying my membership fees. But all the same, its much appreciated and valued by yours truly.
Recently, one of the most valuable critiques I received was to add a chapter or two to the beginning of the book. The consensus was that my readers needed to have more bonding time with my main character, Essie, before changing the POV (point of view) character.
For the record, I agreed!
Its amazing how these people can point out such obvious mistakes that I missed--DESPITE the fact I've read through my own material about a million times.
Anyway... I spent a ridiculous amount of time last week trying to write a new chapter 1. Five drafts later, and my sanity completely gone, I finally produced a workable chapter.
Why did it take so long, you ask.
The problem I was facing, was writing a chapter that not only helped the reader to identify with my main character (Essie), but ALSO introduced some of the major plot problems. It was a difficult balance. On one hand, I have Essie, who is insecure, doesn't like being the center of attention and is very naive. On the other, I have these huge problems that Essie is completely oblivious to because she lives in this sheltered little universe. How to bring the two together??
Don't worry, I think I figured it out...
And happily, the material was VERY well received! My writing guild posse gave many compliments on the Essie/Ethan relationship, how much fun it was to read and a couple who said I "hooked" them. This is very good... my ego needed a boost!
Now I'm off to write a transition chapter that will blend the new stuff with the old stuff. Yay for being a writer... the friendly, stress-free profession where the work day NEVER ends!
Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think! The new stuff is posted under the sample chapters tab. Feel free to read it and leave your comments in this post!
[By the way, someone asked me the other day how to leave a comment on my blog. Its easy! For you un-savvy bloggers out there, just click on the "Footnotes" link at the bottom of each post. The rest should be self explanatory from there!]