So here’s the second of the books that I started working on but ultimately abandoned. This one features a female protagonist and is written in third person. Below, I provide my reasoning as to why this didn’t ultimately work as the first chapter of a book.
So ultimately, here were the issues with this as an opening chapter as I wrote the next few chapters:
- The threat is over. At the end of the chapter, Danatha has escaped, and while she’s set up for some revenge later on, her immediate woes are gone. Being saved was too effective.
- Danatha has just lost everybody that she loves. To write her in a way that feels real, she needs to be utterly consumed by grief for a significant period of time. This prevented the action from beginning again immediately, and forced a slow pace. I also didn’t enjoy writing about her being traumatised.
- Danatha is set up as a character with few practical skills. In order to become effective, her learning journey was going to have to be very long – she failed to keep my interest in the following chapters.
- As a fish out of water, there’s too little of the ‘old life’ to set up the world, meaning that the strange place that she found herself going to was the majority of what a reader would have experienced.
So there it is. More to come soon.