Thursday, July 28, 2011

Neither Can Live While the Other Survives (Crit Diaries)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
(Just in case you needed any clarification, I'm Voldemort.)

I'm talking about me and the first page of the THE TRAVELERS, of course.

The fabulous Krista is hosting "An Agent's Inbox" contest, where a Mystery Agent checks out queries and first pages from 25 projects and shares her thoughts, along with other entrants. It's an incredible opportunity, and having a completed MS, I thought I'd jump on board.

The advice I've gotten in  the comments is super-helpful, even (especially?) the parts that are discouraging.

The most discouraging thing? No one loves the opening. And it was one of my darlings.

Now, I know what some of you will say. "It's your story! Only you know how it has to be told!" But the thing is?
1. I agree that the opening isn't as grabbing as it could be and
2. A book with a first page no one likes won't sell. It just won't. Not to an agent, and definitely not to a publisher.

Yeah, it's good enough. It conveys emotion, and I think it says what it needs to say. It's good enough. But in writing,  "good enough" is just not going to cut it. We all know it, in our gut.  I'd rather face it down than let it sit there, festering in its stinking, slimy pile of good-enoughness.

My poor, poor opening page. I've written it about 30 times over. It's tired and scuzzy and almost defeated.
But I don't care, because it is trying to kill me.
And, unlike Harry Potter? It won't win.


  1. You'll nail the new opening. It sucks to have to kill our darlings, but if they're not working, they're not working.

    All those comments were very constructive and I think you're on the right track. And I'm not a genius. You are bad for my ego :)

  2. The great thing about writing is that there isn't a limit to how many times you can edit/rewrite. Even if takes 30, 60, 100 tries--you will figure it out if you just keep plugging away!

  3. @Gina - maybe that's why I like writing better than real life. If something's not working out, you just kill it. ;)

    @Heidi - Yes, you always get a second or thirtieth chance. And when I's all mine to be proud of. (Hi!)