Thursday, March 1, 2012

Are we there yet?

Finally made it to the 100% mark with my current round of revisions. This means all chapters revised at the line / paragraph / scene level. That feels good!

But are we there yet?

Not quite. I still have a few rounds to go.

First, there's a couple of specific scene additions to write and weave in. Then I need to work through with a handful of more global comments in mind. Then I'll print it out and read in hard copy, red pen in hand.

The most troublesome bit, though, is what to do with the opening.

I still have the original opening chapter, with the adult Shayla sending a starship crashing into a planet.

But I also have a short chapter with the young Shayla being hustled out of her childhood home and made to watch her own planet get toasted.

Do I open with this instead, then fast-forward to the adult hell-bent on revenge? But I like the original opening and I think it's the more immediately gripping.

Would it work better as a prologue, given the time lapse? But everyone hates prologues.

Or do I work it in later as a flashback? But I hate flashbacks.




  1. So many questions so few answers....

  2. I sort of like the starship crashing into a planet.

    I don't really put any weight on prologues, so if you're doing it to try and buy sympathy, my general opinion is that you might as well leave it out since I won't form any serious attachment to a character until a few pages in. It's like, "Oh, you had a sad childhood? Poor baby, so did everyone else. Get over it."

    But if this information is introduced later in small doses, it gives meaning for why a character is the way they are, and then it becomes my choice to decide if they're justified--which is more entertaining as a reader.

  3. If you prologue the planet getting toasted when she's a child, it rather takes away from the punch of what she does in the opening chapter. And yeah, its a prologue.

    I'd opt for either a short flashback, or doling out bits of that childhood scene throughout.

    And congrats on making it all the way though that round of revisions!

  4. Can you do it as a memory? I'm not sure if that's so different than a flashback but maybe you could work little pieces of it into conversation?

  5. Weight of opinion seems to be for working it in later on in the story. That's probably the best solution, just a shame it's also the one that's most work :D

    I didn't want to lose the punch of the original opening either.

  6. Congrats on reaching the big milestone. I ended up going with a prologue for my book, and I think it works quite well. (Whether I still think that after I finish the zillioneh editing job, I dunno. That remains to be seen.)

  7. Susan, personally I have nothing against prologues if they're there for a good reason. It's just the current industry taste seems very much against them whatever the reason.

  8. As someone who knows nothing about your story, I strongly recommend beginning with the adult protagonist doing something dramatic over opening with a childhood memory. You can weave that in, even with inner thoughts, but I'd stay away from the lure of a scene you can allude to as you go. <--add grains of salt to taste

    And congratulations on finishing this round of revisions. It sounds like you're doing a very thorough job of it!


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