Friday, July 18, 2008

Rip it up

Ahhhh, yes....

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.

2 comments:

Aimee said...

Hi Bonnie!
I hope you're enjoying a great summer, instead of it being ALL work...

It must take incredible strength to be able to trash a large chunk of your hearts work like that, even if it will make the story better.

As a side note, I finally have whittled through 90% of my TBR piles, and The Scorpion and the Seducer was one of them. FABULOUS girl! I'm really jonesing for the next one!

Bonnie Vanak said...

Hey Aimee! Great to "see" you. Kudos to you for getting that TBR pile down! So glad you enjoyed Scorpion. Email me and I'll tell you who the hero of The Lady and the Libertine, the next Egyptian book, is. Can't say so here on a public blog.