Those first chapters are a problem. I've revised them many times but, although things have improved, they're just not good enough. So I've reached a conclusion: they have to go.
That's right. Gone. I am going to throw them away and start fresh. After a several difficult days of muttering to myself and frantic highlighting and scribbling in the margins of the latest draft, I came up with a lot of reasons why this is necessary:
- Those chapters were written four years ago. The rest of the book (where there are far fewer problems) was written last year. I know I am a much better writer now, the way that a dancer is better for practicing every day.
- They have been picked apart and put back together so many times that they don't flow they way they should.
- Trying to fix the problem using what is there is clearly not working. I need to approach those chapters in a new way and I can't do that with the old words staring at me.
- I know my characters and better. Because of this, I can communicate the backstory and motivation much more effectively and efficiently now.
What about you? Have you ever done this? How did it work out for you?