Restructuring this novel has been interesting. I like its pace now, I like its transitions.
I was thinking about this a couple days ago while I was mowing the yard. What was it that made me realize I hadn’t started in the right place to begin with? What was it that made me uncomfortable? It wasn’t the writing. The writing was good, I thought…or at least the words sounded good to me inside my head–the technical part of conveying information was solid. I liked the characters, but I admit they were getting to bore me. Maybe that’s it, I guess. They were boring me. Maybe that’s how I knew.
But it’s not really their fault. They are perfectly interesting characters.
What I realized, looking back as I cut swathes of green through my yard, was that I had spent a majority of the first thirty pages in the heads of the characters. This means the opening was a classic series of character studies done via thinly disguised information dumps made semi-necessary due to a combination of where I started and the lack of depth I had built into these characters when I first set out to create this work.
And that, my friends, is a helluva sentence to write this danged early in the morning.
So at present I consider the first 40 or so pages of the first draft to be a good piece of story research, and I’ve moved on so much the wiser.