The past few weeks I’ve been pushing on word count on the Green Acres 1 novel to the detriment of the fact that I haven’t gotten my ACFW Genesis contest entries in yet. Deadline is ticking!
I’d had both sets of pages critiqued in January but I’ve mostly ignored the results until the past ten days, when I’ve been trying to snatch bits of time to tighten the entries based on my partners’ inputs. One of the things I’m good at noticing in other peoples’ writing is that an opening scene with only one character in it is a difficult sell. There just seems to be too great a propensity for ‘navel-gazing’–inward thinking–in this type of scene.
So what had I done? Tried to limit the length of the opening scene in which my character was alone. Made sure she did things instead of just sitting around thinking. But the result was the same: a lack of dimension.
Chopping out that scene hurt like crazy. I LIKED it. But you know, it needed a good change-up. I brought in a secondary character to interact with my heroine and instantly she got more purpose for being there. Now to go back over the scene and tighten again. Thankfully much of the second scene can stay put!
What are your writing pet peeves that you find in your own writing when you least expect them? What are your rules for getting a story off to a quick start?