So I’m in a bit of a quandary. I’m working on the revision, and I have to decide primarily what to do with the beginning. Almost all of the comments I got focused on the first chapter or so, with most saying it was too slow. So what’s the debate? Well, it’s do I trim it, or cut it altogether? I’m going to try to work this out on screen as I type–we’ll see where it goes.
When facing a decision like this, the first question I have to ask myself is what exactly is the first chapter accomplishing? For those of you who haven’t read it, it basically introduces the main character (Parker), his love interest (Jess) and some minor characters. Parker intros his job at McDonald’s, has a conflict with a customer–that sort of thing. THe chapter establishes a couple of goals for Parker, and hints at larger conflicts to come. We get an overview of Parker’s pop culture fixations–that sort of thing.
So what is there that needs to be there? The more I look at it, the more I’m thinking: not much. Some of the McDonald’s stuff is interesting, but nothing there really relates to the rest of the story. I can still intro Parker and Jess in chapter 2, and I get to the real conflict faster that way, too. In fact, the more I think about it, the less I think chapter 1 needs to exist.
So my question for those of you who have read it: do YOU think it needs to exist? Please speak up–the beginning is one of the most important parts of a book, and I need this to get off on the right foot.