One of the hardest things for a writer to do is to find the story's "way in."
In a good many early drafts from other writers (and all too often in my own), I see on the first pages one, perhaps more, attempts to find the way in. This goes beyond the advised "in medias res," novelists learn about in writing classes - It's a fumbling with character, action, dialogue, and narrative that will eventually lead the writer into the story's eventual flow.
The first three chapters were that for me - fumbling to find the story's initial energy, the energy that will lead the reader - and the story's characters - deep into the overall drama. Hopefully, that's done well enough to proceed.
A clue: once you feel you're "in," does the next chapter's early drafts lend themselves to the flow you'd hoped for?
In this chapter, it seems so. Here, the bumps were largely in leading the reader into the drama that Emily's death caused the Shane family and the town of Hope.
The first thing I had to fix (this story was originally written some 15 years ago) was the chapter's initial setting - which should lead the character properly into the Shane home and the family's emotional state over Emily's death. Then came a straightening out of the most effective way to apply dialogue and its tags. And finally the proper way to end the chapter.
The text will be posted in "Typescript" as soon as this one is up. As always, I invite comments, critiques, and the like.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.