I just spent two weeks writing a new first chapter for Fire, the prequel to Graceling. It was an agonizing process, one of the hardest bits of writing I’ve ever done. Today I gave it to my sister (always my first reader) for feedback. Here’s what she said after reading: “It’s not bad.”
Yeah. So, I bawled for about 15 minutes.
Now, two hours later, I’m feeling much better, because I see that she’s right. It is “not bad.” The whole concept of the new first chapter is “not bad.” And that’s not good enough; it’s the first chapter, for crying out loud; it has to be good; it has to be more than good.
So what to do? I’m going to scrap it and go back to my old first chapter, which was good to begin with. And start the whole frakking revision over again. And try to wrap my head around what really needs to be done here.
You’d think I’d be more upset about all that wasted time. Oddly, I’m not; I’m just relieved it’s over. Sometimes in life you have to do things, do them whole hog, in order to figure out that they’re the wrong things to do. And that makes them the right things. Right?
Back to it.