During this semester the class workshoped my novel. I learned the value of fresh eyes. It is impossible to read your own work and get a sense of what the reader sees. We as authors know our characters motivation, even if that motivation is not clearly stated on the page. As author Robert Stone once said, “Revising is like cutting your own hair." You don’t do yourself or your work any justice if it is only your critique of your novel that is taken into account during the revision process.
From this workshop I came away with a new understanding of what I had written. I realized that though I loved the lyrical feel to my prologue, it was not the best introduction to my story. The goal of those first few pages is to grip the reader, pull them into the story and keep them turning the page. What I had written was beautiful but had an outsider’s feel. I wanted the reader to feel as if they were right there in the mythical land of Tulea with Lan. So, I pulled back and began the novel at the moment Lan’s world changed, propelling her to action.
This is not supposed to happen, Lan thought.
She willed her mother to take a breath, but no amount of strength on Lan’s part made a difference. Her mother decided her own fate, and she had never been a fighter.
Lan calculated everything to the smallest of details, and this. . . this was never part of the plan.