I went to a writing class today at the library on how to write a "Killer Hook." I knew I needed to go to this because I've already been told TOO MUCH BACKSTORY! in the first part of my novel (which is coming out soon, you guys!).
A lot of the stuff I'd heard before, but apparently skipped when it came to my own work. What got me was when the ladies leading the class said, "You guys want to read us what you have?" I had already decided I would cut the whole first chapter, because I knew it was backstory and could easily be worked into the second and eighth chapters in little tiny chewable pieces instead of this big hulking mass of boring. But while they were talking about famous hooks, and giving us examples, I had hastily been morphing the beginning of my second chapter into my new hook. When they offered to hear what we had, I read that. AND THEY THOUGHT I SHOULD CUT THE FIRST THREE PARAGRAPHS! I was devastated. I even argued, which I thought I knew better than to ever do. Because when someone gives you advice on your writing you should always consider it, even if at first you think it's dumb. Chances are there's something to it, even if you don't use all of it. I thought I knew that. But there I was thinking "No, please! It's good like this!"
They went on to the next person, and I thought about it, and then sure enough, they were right. Darn it. So I cut some more. And I'll probably cut some more when the editor calls me and tells me what I need to do to get my book ready to be published (because I have a book coming out soon!).
And now, at least until the editor calls me and tells me what else I need to do to book one (which may or may not have a title now), I must get to work on book number two so my fans will have something new to read in January.