Now here’s something I don’t do every day (not this blog, obviously – I definitely do this every day, as has been previously established. I don’t even have to anymore, but I’m posting this evening anyway. Old habits, eh? Sheesh. Oh, where was I? This set of brackets has kind of run away with itself, hasn’t it? Shit, this isn’t a very good start).
What’s in between the brackets above is actually what the purpose of the “something I don’t do every day” is, which makes it less of a terribly self-indulgent first paragraph and more of an awesome metaphor. To take my last sentence in order, that’s (a) Overwriting, (b) Sending the draft of my novel’s new opening to several different friends to see what they make of it, and (c) Ha ha, nice try. You see, it’s reached that point where Certainty is about to be sent into the wild blue yonder, and as such I want to see what my main demographic makes of the first three chapters – those opening pages being the ones that agents mainly ask for in the first instance, you see. So there’s a lot riding on them.
In the red corner, then: my revised opening. In the blue corner: two people who’ve read full drafts of the novel before, one who read some of it before and liked it, one who read some of it before and hated it, and two who’ve read none of it before at all. What will they think?
The purpose of the exercise isn’t to try to get some kind of universal opinion – writing is way too subjective for that. Instead, it’s to try to catch any glaring errors that I’ve missed, or massively obvious recurring negative – or, indeed, positive – themes. And, of course, because it’s all feedback from people I respect, I’m rather worried about what they’re going to think, despite the fact that I reckon this new opening is pretty damn good. That final 1% of polish I mentioned a few days ago? This is more of that.
I’ll regroup after all the feedback’s in and see if there’s anything I still need to work on. Besides taking out some of the ‘f’ words, of course – I’m such a potty-mouth. Sigh.