Thursday, April 8, 2010

Brownie Bliss

I had this great idea for a blog post, and I'll probably post it in a day or two. But, I went to my critique group tonight.

I came home and made a pan of brownies.

It's not that they were unkind. They weren't even criticizing the writing. Said it was beautiful and well-written. Said I should totally keep it.

Just NOT as a first chapter.

Don't get me wrong. They don't think I need to re-write it. They think I need to CUT it.

CUT it.

(As an aside, those of you who know me very well know that my neck and chest flush and get all splotchy when I am rattled. I will be wearing turtlenecks to critique group from now on.)

Here's the kicker.

They are totally right.

And, to make matters worse . . . I have KNOWN this for weeks. I knew my precious first chapter, my first attempt at writing fiction, my special little phrases that I have read, and re-read, were going to have to go away. Because there's a lot of "telling" in my first chapter. And that is a no-no. And if I want an agent to read the 2nd chapter, the first chapter has to go.

I.DON'T.WANT.TO.DO.THIS.

I like my first chapter. I re-wrote some of it in the past few weeks and I like it quite a lot more than I did before. I like that you meet my characters . . . the very first ones I ever brought to life . . . and that you care about them and that many people who have read the now doomed first chapter actually cried with them. I like that I almost got choked up reading it tonight. Me. And I wrote it.

So pray for me. I'm going to have to do something I do not want to do. And I only have a week to cut it, re-work the necessary facts into the rest of the manuscript and get the new and improved first 40 pages ready for contest and critique submission.

Excuse me while I have another brownie. And maybe some Coke.
Reactions:

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a fun blog Lynn... makes me miss you even more :) Will be praying for you and your new first chapter. Blessings to you and yours!

Kim

Amy said...

You. Can. Totally. Do. This.
Though that chapter is special, sounds like you should listen to them (& the inner voice in your head.) Just send it down to me, I'll treat it with the laminator; you can wipe the marks right off & keep it preserved :)
Wish I lived close enough to partake of the brownies.

Vonda Skelton said...

Oh, Lynn, you make me laugh! Thank you for sharing your insights. You are truly a gifted writer, and--even more important than the giftedness--you're one who is willing to do what it takes. And believe me, I know firsthand that it sometimes takes a lot.

Jennifer Huggins said...

I am behind a bit on the blog, but having re-read the new and improved version...you didn't cut at all..you re-worked...those words from your heart are still there...still intact...just in a little different order.