I am at the tail end of the first semester of my mfa. As a result of the work done in the program on my third novel, I realize it's time to do some serious surgery on my first novel.
I'm taking the first fifteen pages and slicing them off. Why? And how could you, you say?
First, I've matured more as a writer. I can take an objective step back from my work the way a painter does a painting, and remove what's not working. Now granted I have to have a finished work to be able to do this. Slicing while in the middle of completion is a death sentence for my creativity.
Second, it helps my protagonist tell her story better. The remainder of the novel is fast paced and meaty. My opening feels more like a preview for a different film like at the movies.
And lastly, I made my protagonist too comfy at the beginning. Boring! Who wants to read sugary sweet softness at the beginning of a novel that should start with the murder. Probably why I never liked my beginning. Trust your instincts. If you don't like something you've written--probe it. Figure out why you don't like it.
Really the final question is when do I do this surgery?
Like a medical surgery, it will have to be scheduled.
I have revisions I need to start on my third novel as part of my mfa program, plus I'm writing a short script (first 15 pages), for a screenplay contest, and I need to finish writing a short story I promised myself I'd finish.
Time to pull out my day planner. Trust me it will get scheduled and done. I'm a writer.