I know that title really makes no sense, but it will by the end of this post. I am in week 2 of my experience over at Adventures in YA & Children's Publishing's The 1st Five Pages Workshop and I wanted to share with you something I learned in that first week. I had a bunch going on in the first 1,250 of Barely There, but too much of one thing and not enough of another.
1) Slow down and let your main character and reader enjoy the experience.
While I thought I was slowing down and letting the reader experience with my character I was actually dragging it all out. I spent too much time on Phoebe's reaction to being dead. While the reader, and Phoebe, already know she is dead, I was still forcing her to linger in that process of learning. I needed to move it along, a bit. So, I pushed Phoebe along and made her understand the predicament a bit sooner. Instead of drawing out her reactions of making sure she was dead, I pushed her into slowing down and reacting to the actual fact that she's dead.
2) Jump into the action sooner, don't draw out scenes too long.
Because I had spent so much time on Phoebe trying to access whether she was dead, I was neglecting interaction and pushing the story forward. It was stalling out. As a result of getting rid of some of Phoebe's lingering on making sure she's dead I opened the story up to adding in Fin's character sooner. Their dialogue and assessment of one another came into play much sooner, as did more of the actual plot.
You can read the first round here and the second round here.