The first chapter of Lady of the Snow was reviewed last night by my local critique group.
And….they LOVED it. I mean, they hardly had any comments on it. That’s seriously a first for me. Even though there were only four of us last night, the opinion was pretty unanimous–that my first chapter achieved exactly what a first chapter should: it made them want to read more.
There were some issues with it, mainly grammatical (what a suprise 😛 Grammar is the bane of my existence) and a few places where I could make things a little clearer. But nothing major. (BTW, I changed my chapter a little from the excerpts I posted–mainly, I switched it over to third person, which I think flows better and is more natural for me).
However, from their comments, I have a little changing I’m going to need to do for the book. I’m realizing that the current plan I had probably won’t work so well. I initially planned on going back in time after my first chapter to show how she developed into the Yuki-onna. But I realized that may be a little too much of an abrupt shift–from going to her being this mythical monster to being a normal human 300 years prior.
So, that first part will mainly be backstory fodder; much of it may come out in flashbacks. And I’m going to have to learn how to do a good flashback. Not sure it will work making it go back and forth between two distinct time periods; you really have to master the craft so as not to confuse the reader (or irritate them!). Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a great example of switching between two time periods without that confusion. He was able to switch back seamlessly–something I don’t think I’m quite comfortable doing just yet–at least at the level I’m at in my writing.
So it’s back to the drawing board for the book summaries, as well as some of the character bios. It’s nothing too major–in fact I may try writing it the way I originally thought and then use some of that in flashback sequences.
For now, I’m just happy that I actually wrote a compelling first chapter–something that I always struggle to do 🙂