I'm very proud of myself. I destroyed the first part of my book due in two weeks.
It was fully intentional. I had written a prologue that turned into a first chapter. I put aside the book and when I looked at it again, it really bugged me.
I took off my Writer's Hat and started reading as someone standing in the aisle of a bookstore would. Reading the very first graph.
It was... okay. But not great, not thrilling, just meh. Too much background.
No interaction between the hero and heroine, because the prologue/first chapter was about the heroine as a little girl growing up in England.
So I dumped it. The entire first chapter, and then rewrote.
Now, instead of reading like this: "She was a thief and would be punished."
The first line reads like this, "He couldn't stop staring at her breasts."
Much more intriguing to me. The very first line you meet the hero and heroine.
I wove the old first chapter into the rest of the story, including a key scene between the heroine and her uncle, that actually embellishes the story and makes it more intriguing.
It's not easy wiping out an entire first chapter. But that's what you have to do if it makes a book stronger. You have to be able to let go as an author and rip it up. Look at the book as if you were a reader and debating on buying it based on the strength of the first few pages.
It was tough, but I did it. And hopefully, it makes for a much stronger book.