Apr. 9th, 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.

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    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

  2. Amy says:

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Jennifer Huggins says:

    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.