Shannon Stacey

The light bulb flickers a little brighter

So I’ve been working on a contemporary category for…ever? (I’ve also been working on not starting blog posts with the word so. Neither’s going well.) Quite frankly, if I didn’t love the story and love the characters and desperately want to write this book, it would have been scrapped a long time ago.

No matter how much I’ve tinkered with it, the opening has felt flat to me. Nothing really definable, just kind of…eh. When the author is skimming through chapter one in a read-through, anxious to get to the next chapter, the book—it is broken.

Then, last night, I finally noticed something—a forest for the trees moment.

I’m a pretty traditional girl, structurally. Three scenes per chapter, usually alternating the hero and heroine’s points of view, though I’m not rigid about that.

This manuscript has only two scenes in chapter one.

A-HA! At least now I have a list of possible reasons for the broken-ness:

1. The opening chapter really does just suck.

2. There are only two scenes because each POV scene was too long due to too much information/introspection, which leads to skimming.

3. It’s a mental thing—I perceive my pacing as being way off because I’m used to three shorter scenes per chapter.

I’m guessing it’s a combination of 2 and 3, but at least now I have a game plan and can hopefully :type: instead of :bang:

4 comments to “The light bulb flickers a little brighter”

  1. Ann
      · May 3rd, 2008 at 8:28 pm · Link

    Good luck! :type:

  2. Charlene
      · May 4th, 2008 at 7:46 am · Link

    There you go, always good to have a plan.

  3. Annmarie
      · May 4th, 2008 at 9:02 am · Link


    So. Now you can fix it!

  4. Melani Blazer
      · May 4th, 2008 at 1:40 pm · Link

    I know you’ll tackle this one and make it right. Can’t wait to read it!

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