The ink is my pen is frozen and so are the keys on my keyboard. Really! It’s true!
Okay. Really, nothing is wrong with the ink or the keyboard. The problem is in my head.
One or two of you may know that a while ago an agent asked to see some pages of my novel. Very exciting, of course.
A few email exchanges and I like said agent. So far, so good.
Agent tells me that the beginning doesn’t pull. What do you think?
Hmm. It isn’t that I dislike those first chapters, but I know the rest of the book, and I know–in my papery, inky, obsessed book-shaped heart–that the first few chapters do not really have much to do with the rest of the story.
I’ll rewrite the beginning. Would that be okay?
The agent agrees to look at the whole novel when I’m done with my edits.
So further, so better. Maybe.
Now the ink won’t move. I know the beginning may not pull a reader in. But I don’t know what worked either. What am I cutting? What should I keep? What was likable enough to keep this conversation going? I’ll read the rest. Then something was okay with it or why bother?
I cut a few things. I changed a scene.
Have I made it worse?
Someone has torn the common sense page from my brain.
What isn’t missing is the page explaining everything a writer can do wrong. That page is duplicated a thousand times.
Here is an agent willing to talk to me, and my spine cracks under the pressure.