Thank you for posting your first chapter and explanations. I admire your courage—I’m still working up my nerve!
You’ve got a nice mix of pressure working on your protagonist—cheating ex, meddling mother-in-law, twins, financial road block, unrequited dream, and unwanted male attention—and that’s just the first chapter, but instead of building, the tension’s released with explanation.
Thank you for sharing Harry’s advice concerning Jane Austen. Her iconic first sentence of P&P is succinct and ironic, but she launches quickly into dialogue. I think your chapter shines with the dialogue between Kelly and Margaret—I knew how each felt and was definitely in that moment. I think you have more opportunity with your conflict—especially with the husband—to really bring the reader in. Haven’t we all had those days where we wonder if there’s a target on our back? Couldn’t Kelly see Stephen—have to speak to him with the other woman—maybe before Margaret suggests they get back together (making Kelly’s shock, our shock too)? Just a thought.
I do believe Kate and L give great advice—I’ve been gleaning what they’ve said from many posts. I think Kate’s recommended websites are excellent. I’m going through my chapters now applying the filtering advice, and I see improvement. This ex-teacher’s getting taught, but I’m excited for the growth.
Thank you for posting—may this new year bring you success!