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At my critique group the other night, my good friend, Emalee, suggested I make a drastic change to the beginning of my novel.
As in, completely write new pages for the beginning.
As in, maybe this wasn't the right spot to start the story.
As in, a whole lot of pulling completely new stuff out of my brain.
We had talked about how I was struggling with my MC. How I wanted to make him more likable to the reader and not come off as a whinging crybaby.
(Yeah, whinging crybaby = not so much fun to read about or connect with)
Emalee had an idea.
Well, at first I thought Em was completely off her rocker. I mean, really? What was she talking about? I'd have to write completely new first pages! I'd have to imagine a whole new scene! Oh! The time! The pain! The trouble!
I'd worked so hard to craft THESE pages. Of course, they were where I was supposed to start the novel.
I nodded and smiled and said, "Yeah, that could work." But, of course, I'm thinking, "Pppfffft. As if." (alright, I didn't have that mean of a thought. I love Emalee....but you get the gist)
Then, as I was driving home, I started really thinking about this idea. This new way for my readers to get to know my character. Maybe....what if....
And even though I hated the idea of trying something and then realizing it had been a waste of time (and....yeah, yeah, I know...anytime writing isn't really a waste of time, but you know what I mean...there's not a whole lot of that time stuff around here these days), on the way home I decided to give it a shot. Why not? Let's see what happens.
I can't believe the change.
She was spot on.
It was just what the beginning needed, just what my character needed. Emalee will get a giant hug when I see her next. She was so so so incredibly right.
So, the next time your critique partner, editor or random Joe on the street gives you writing advice (although if you're soliciting advice from a random Joe, you should probably get a critique group), don't immediately dismiss it, even if you think they're nuts.
Give it a chance.
You just never know where it could lead!
Has this happened to you? Ever received writing advice you were sure was wrong, but you gave it a shot and it worked? I'd love to hear about it!