|Strike that. Reverse it.|
I am participating in a YA Critique Group over at the WB Network. The critiques have been fun to do and incredibly helpful. It was great (and nerve wracking) having people read my pages. However, it was a bit of a concern when they all had questions and comments about my opening paragraphs.
My story is told in present tense but my first few paragraphs were in past tense. I was trying to convey information without a prologue. Maybe it should have been obvious to me but it wasn't until the critiques that I saw I was doing it the wrong way. So I chopped it!
Having my critique partners question my motives made me realize, I didn't have motives. I was just doing it because that's how I wrote it initially. On some level, it made sense to me until I had to explain my reasons to someone else.
Once it was edited out, I worked out a better way to put the information into the first few pages. It isn't perfect but it is significantly better.
What is so important about others reading and critiquing your work is that they are not involved until they read the first sentence. They have no idea what will happen on the next page. And it is knowing the whole story which makes us miss certain confusing moments in our writing. I feel rejuvenated and I am happy with my new beginning and if I find a better way to start things off I will change it again.
It's like when I finally clean out the hall closet. I am hesitant to throw anything away at first. Then once I get started, this gargantuan purge of mostly empty shampoo bottles and ratty towels takes place. Don't worry I recycle. And I don't get rid of my previous versions, I save the cast offs in a separate Word document.
As for the rest of my WIP, I am at the point which could be considered the beginning of the end or maybe the beginning of the beginning of the end. Either way, I am close to done with this round of edits. Woo hoo!
On the synopsis front, I am still writing a summary of the chapter after I edit it, but the summaries are getting increasingly shorter. Some are even one line and not an all-encompassing line either. But I do have a rough synopsis in progress, which is good enough for me at the moment.