Because I'm querying I need something to obsess over. So here it is.
The always awesome Anette had one particular comment after she read through my novel, and it's been spurring me on ever since: The book starts a bit slow. Not that there isn't action (um, discovery of a dead body, etc.) but it truly picks up after about the first 50 pages or so.
The problem: the requests for partials I've received so far ask for the first 50 pages.
Anette was right and I've been revising the beginning ever since, taking stuff out and tightening where I can. But I still feel like shouting to agents: "Just ask for the full! I promise you'll love it if only you'll get past the first 50 pages!"
My MC, Lottie meets people in those first 50 pages who are instrumental throughout the book. But lots of meetings can bog down the action.
Once you get past the setup, there are parties and midnight break-ins and romance and underground passageways and hit-and-runs and suspense and it's really exciting! You just, um, have to get there.
Part of the problem might be that since I wrote the first draft off and on for three years, the latter half (written more recently) is better simply because I wrote it more recently and I'm a better writer now than I was three years ago.
Duh, you're saying. Just rewrite the beginning. And I have, to a point. I mean that I've edited the crap out of it. There's still just the nagging feeling that it's still slow. And I'm so close to it that it's hard sometimes to see what can go and what needs to stay.
I just got a request for a partial yesterday from dream agent. I want her to love it! I want her to request a full! But I'm trying to keep the freak-outs to a minimum here. So I'll just check my e-mail again real quick and...
I need to reread Colleen's post at the Swivet today about the art of patience.