Chapter Two, Here I Come!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on revising my first draft. In other words, I’m creating my second draft. I’ve also mentioned that I’m struggling to perfect my first chapter. The bloggers and backbloggers at Working Stiffs did their best to convince me to move on, and I fully intended on doing just that.

But there was one more thing I wanted to tweak. And that tweak led to another. And another. Until my head was spinning and I didn’t know what I’d written. Was I making it better? Or just different?

My local Sisters in Crime chapter is planning a writing retreat in March. Editor Ramona Long will be our special presenter for the weekend. As part of the retreat, she’s offered to read and give advice on a short story or our first chapter. I knew I wanted to take advantage. Maybe that was part of why I was striving for perfection in those opening pages. Not that I expected her to gush and tell me how fabulous they were and needed no further work. No. I learned years ago that that doesn’t EVER happen. Nor do I want it to. I know I need help. (In more ways than one. There, I said first!) But I wanted it to be the best I could do, so that outside help would only make it better yet.

I’m too close to my story at this point. It’s time to step back and let clearer minds and unbiased eyes prevail.

I sent my first chapter off to Ramona. It’s gone. I won’t touch it again until I hear her take on it.

Time to move on.

For real, this time.


Jemi Fraser said…
It's so hard to stop tinkering! I'm forever re-looking too :)
Annette said…
Jemi, with Chapter One, I was way beyond mere tinkering. I was flat out obsessing. Now with Chapter Two I'm tinkering. I think (hope) I won't get back into obsession mode for a while.
VR Barkowski said…
Been there, Annette. I understand your pain. I had no less than six totally different versions of my first chapter plus innumerable tweaked versions. I only stopped editing after I reversed chs 1 & 2. If I hadn't, I'd probably still be editing.

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