And this is where I run into problems. Perhaps it’s because I write garbage (though my garbage isn’t too bad either) until I warm up, but I have the worst time with the beginning, just the first few pages. This is, of course, the WORST time to have a worst time. The first pages are where the hook must be. If it’s just not there, the reader will put the book down and not buy it. Likewise, the agent won’t request your full.
Here’s the prob: I have three versions (at least) of my first chapter. I keep changing it based on reader feedback. Well, now I’m getting feedback contradicting previous feedback (i.e., descriptions, history, exposition, name changes, etc). Yes, I’m tearing my hair out! My first page was posted on Dear Author on Saturday, and the critique was a little brutal, but honest. Much of the feedback there wanted me to put back stuff I’d already edited out on previous versions. Grrrrr! *frustration level rising*
My plan now? I’ll probably edit again, but this time I’ll just do what I want. I think I’ll just take the feedback I’m comfortable with. So how do you deal with conflicting advice? Do you get a lot of it to begin with? Where do you have the toughest time in your story? Any suggestions for first pages???
PS—I apologize in advance if I can’t get around to your blogs this week. I’ll try as best I can, but I’m out to sea and our bandwidth is teensy weensy on the satellite. It’s about a third the speed of dial-up, if that, and I usually can’t get the pages to load.