Surviving Sister Revisited

It has taken me so very long to get the edits done on Naked Alliances that I am not nearly as far along on Surviving Sister as I had intended to be. I’m giving it some attention now. That started with me reading the four or five chapters I have completed.

I’m at 15, 297 words on that book. The first chapter, as always, seems to be giving me the most trouble.

I know that it’s best to drop backstory in as you move along in a story. However, with this story, that takes place in the mid to late fifties and early sixties, I am going between two POV, the two sisters. There is an action scene in Chapter One, but much of Chapter One is relating their childhood and relationship with their parents at an early age relative to them being so very transient and I feel that is important to understanding why they behave as they do in subsequent chapters.

So I’m breaking a rule. Again. I can only hope it doesn’t backfire.

In Chapter One, there is an incident that occurs in the sisters’ teen years where they are forced to move yet again, and that’s where the real story of their present starts.

This is a more cerebral read than anything like genre fiction that is exclusively for entertainment. I’m hoping my audience for this book will be like my audience for Red Clay and Roses. It goes deeper. Introspective. Reflective. Meaningful. Filled with emotion. Nothing remotely funny about it.

The first chapter sets up the dynamics of the two sisters, let’s you in on the dynamics of their parents, their grandma, how they relate to their world and the tone of the story.

I may make some changes later, but I’m liking it so far.

Here’s a throwback! Me and my older sister in the tub. 1961.

Connie and Susie


26 thoughts on “Surviving Sister Revisited

  1. Often I rewrite chapter one several times before I find the perfect one. I once heard it referred to as “clearing your throat”, and found it so fitting. Good luck with the story– you rule breaker you!

    1. Thanks Jill. I planned to write in one sister’s POV but needed to get inside of the head of both, so that changed early on. I’m debating on whether to label them as such or just allow the reader to notice. I’ll decide that later.

  2. I struggle with first chapters, too–writing and rewriting them…and then deleting them in favor of chapter two or even three as the new chapter one, but if that chapter is telling you it needs to be there, I say go with your gut! Best of luck in the New Year and with all your projects. 🙂

    1. Thanks Michelle. I don’t want to lose readers with backstory, but I want them to be able to sympathize with the characters when something happens. I appreciate you stopping by.

  3. It sounds interesting, Susan. The first chapter is often the most difficult for me. Sometimes I can’t get it right until the whole book is finished. I’m becoming less and less tolerant of “the rules.” What matters is whether the writing pulls the reader in or not.

    1. I so agree. With my crime novel, after it was finished, I went back and rewrote the first chapter. I was much more satisfied with it than what I had previously. I’ll have the whole story gelled in my head, but getting out of the starting gate with it seems a meticulous chore. I want it to do just that…pull the reader into the story.

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