April is the struggle with FIRST CHAPTER having written a lot of the MIDDLE chapters, I needed an entrancing chapter to hook the reader and explain why the protagonist flees to London from the countryside.
Good old Jericho readers quite liked and improved my first chapter. They were fantastic and I thank them. I took, with pride, my fast-moving 4k first chapter to my writing group who liked the writing -but also, aware of the other chapters said firmly and unanimously - great writing -but WRONG BOOK. Does not belong in my novel. Shelve that one.
I knew exactly what they meant - in attempting to offer an engaging character with all the reasons for his flight to the city, I had committed the sin of EXCESS BACK STORY.
So now - Just now, I've finished another 3.8k FIRST CHAPTER (again) which this time does a proper job of dropping my main character in the novel's SETTING, meeting the CHARACTERS and love interest that make up the story, indicating the CHALLENGES my protagonist faces and essentially the TONE and SUBJECT of the book. Hopefully, the reader now knows what sort of journey I'm going to take them on.
I'm worried it doesn't have enough poke for that wham-bam first 500 words - but I'll see what my trusty group tells me. So, April? Steep learning curve. Ferocious editing and re-editing. I think May has to be a super splurge of chapters to make more progress with the development and denouement. Persistence is what I'm learning. Am mildly worried that I haven't done masses of planning except for chapter headings and I know the stories, the crisis and the ending, so having it all in my head is all very well but I may come a cropper. I figure if I dash for the first draft - I can do some planning,,plotting and character work on the redraft.