>I spent several hours yesterday researching a new idea for Side Project. The rough draft is finished, of course, and I’m polishing now, but so far it’s looking like this is going to be one of those books that grows during the rewrites, rather than shrinking. To date, it’s the shortest book I’ve ever written by more than 20,000 words (the next-shortest is one of those under-the-bed books), and while I’m trying to keep it pretty short, I’ve come up with a few ideas to add depth to the world and characters, and those will necessarily add a bit to the word count.
But hopefully I’ll also be able to tighten. Though in my own opinion, this one was never really very loose, with the exception of the first chapter.
Which brings me back around to first chapters. Somehow, I always wind up there.
First chapters are the hardest part in the entire book for me. Every book. So far, the only one I’ve written that didn’t wind up with a new starting point during the revisions was Pride. That one started very well for me, and you’ll see what I mean when it comes out. Or maybe when you finish Rogue. (Because everyone’s planning to read it, right? Right? )
Anyway, all the other first chapters have needed massive revisions. The worst so far was Rogue. Not that the first chapter of Rogue was bad. It just wasn’t where the story needed to start. That original first chapter is now the third chapter. The two now preceding it were each the new first chapter at one point, and only that third attempt stuck.
I swear, knowing how (and where and when) to start the story is the hardest part, and I’ve found that most of the time, I don’t even really know who my characters are (especially in the first book of a series) until I’m well into the book. So usually by the time I’m finished, the first chapter is no longer consistent with the rest of the story. Thus, it must be rewritten.
Which is what I did last night and this morning. I rewrote the first chapter of Side Project. I think it’s much better now, but I won’t know for sure until I have some input from my CP and my agent.
I sent it to Rinda this morning. And now I’m off to work on chapter two.