Well, I was able to re-write the opening to CHERISH IS THE WORD. I’ve sent it off to my Critique Partners for their take on it.
Now instead of a short, confusing prologue and then diving right into the story, I have a weeping man in a room with his concerned daughter, both all dressed up for a “service” that’s to occur in a couple of hours; other family members present and more still to arrive; a reference to an old song written in a note (that brought on his tears); and his offer to his daughter to explain it all. She plops down beside him on the couch and he begins to tell her about a dance and the most beautiful creature who walked in. Then he says, “No, I’ve got to start farther back. All right, this is how it happened...”
That leads to chapter one, set in 1966.
Now, doesn’t that make you want to find out why he’s crying, what the service is all about with all the family members coming in, what the song is all about, who the beautiful creature is, what happened at the dance, and more?
Of course it does. You’re hooked!
This will necessitate some additional changes in the middle of the tale (I plan to bring the reader back to the present day again with the man and his daughter, and have her demand more information when he seems ready to leave things unfinished), and at the end. The “service” will seem to the reader to most likely be the heroine’s funeral, but will turn out to be a renewal of their wedding vows after 35 years of marriage.
I’m hoping to have the characters crying, the reader crying, and everybody happy.
As I re-read that, it almost sounds sappy. But I think I can pull it off. It really won’t require all THAT much re-writing, as the vast majority of the story will stay the same. And, I think it will make the book a lot better, which is my main goal.
Then I’ll follow Karyn’s advice to leave that book alone and work on my next one. If I am unsuccessful with the first one, maybe the second one will find a niche and the first can become a “prequel” as a second book to sell.
(There, Karyn. I referred to you even though you didn’t say you thought I’d get published. Nyah, Nyah, Nyah.)
(I’m feeling very mature tonight, as you can tell.)
So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Sorry about the apparent low quality of yesterday’s post (according to a certain someone). I’ll try to maintain higher standards in the future.
Tomorrow is Friday, after all, so we can all look forward Karyn’s Freaky Friday post. It will undoubtedly display the kind of higher standards that my readers expect from me, as well as from her.