Spent all day Monday working on Chrissie Warren. Well, OK, most of the day, and some time watching the Rose Bowl. Great game. Go Ducks!
But I'd say a good nine hours revising Chrissie, and it was time well spent. As I mentioned, Eddie the Agent suggested the story really doesn't start until Chrissie gets on the ship, and wanted me to see if I could trim the first six chapters down to three. Couldn't. I mean, it's not as if that stuff was just throat-clearing. There was a reason I put it in. But I was able to condense and still keep the flavor. I now get her aboard Skipjack in four chapters. (Plus a new prologue that adds a little something that readers will totally love.) So that works.
Around 5 p.m. I began worrying, wondering if I was being clear. I could no longer tell. So I had Tori read it. She's what Stephen King calls my Trusted Reader. She won't just nod and say, "gee, that's very nice." She'll tell me if it doesn't work, tell me when it sucks, and because she was an English major in college and now teaches fifth grade, she knows what she's talking about. And she could tell it wasn't working. It was close, the things that were happening worked, but the telling was confusing. I was using flashbacks, and it was getting messy, my timeline was getting fouled. (What novel's this from? "Eddies in the time stream." "Really? Who's Eddie?") She spotted the problem and helped me square it away.
By half time of the Fiesta Bowl (also a good game, though I was rooting for Stanford and they came up just short) I had it fixed. It works now.
Have 10,797 words down. About 12 percent. But the rest will be comparatively easy.
Except that today I have to face my greatest fear as a writer. I'll let you know how it goes.