Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year, a New Beginning

Ha! A pun! With the new year came the end of revisions...or at least, what I consider to be the end of revisions. And as I turned over the very last page of my manuscript, bleeding with red ink and changes, I turned right back to page one.

See, I've always had trouble with the first page of the manuscript--which isn't that great of a thing considering that of all the pages of a manuscript, page one is arguably the most important. Without a knock-out page one, I can't sell the blasted thing.

But then again, the last page is important, too. And the second biggest problem people have with my manuscript is the last page. But after submerging myself in revisions for EIGHT STRAIGHT HOURS NOT EVEN PAUSING FOR SUSTENANCE, I came up with a new beginning for the new year!

I know some of you are probably sick of reading versions of my work, but I'm a writer, which means I will mooch feedback from wherever I can possibly glean it from. Besides, it's short :) Anyway, here's the just-off-the-press, I'll-probably-regret-this-later new first bit. Right now, my biggest worry is that a) it's not attention-grabbing enough, and b) it uses the word "change" too often. Oh, and c) that if I try to thrust another version of the first page at anyone else, one of my readers will paper-cut me to death.

Change had never done Belle Ravenna any favors. Moving from one coast to another last year had meant change: a new school, a new house, and no friends. But the first day of school was all about change—and maybe this would be the year things would finally change for the better. The start of eighth grade would give Belle the chance to reinvent herself, finally become the person she wanted to be.

Someone knocked into Belle as she picked up a chocolate milk. Ashleigh. Belle's corndog slid off her fries. The stick end landed in the ketchup.

"I hate it when the nobodies just stand there," Ashleigh said to the lunchroom in general. She paid for her salad, no dressing, and bottle of water.

"I hate it that you think you can just walk all over me," Belle told her corndog.

So much for reinventing herself. All that had changed since last year was her grade.

"$2.60." The lunch lady didn't look up as she held out her hand.

Belle handed her three dollars. "Have you ever wondered if maybe life should be different from how it is?"

"Change." The lunch lady handed the coins to Belle.

Belle stuffed them in her pocket, picked up the tray, and stepped into the lunchroom and its chaos. ...
Thanks in advance for any comments any one can provide--and please, don't hold back! And, as a special thank-you for helping me out with this manuscript and sharing this crazy ride of a blog and a manuscript development, I'm making a special pre-announcement: I'll be holding a contest very soon just for you, my wonderful, amazing blog readers!

PS: Thanks to Christine, who gave me the phrase "reinventing herself" during my Amnesia Door Chapter 1 Critique Revisionrama! :)
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