The the last few weeks have been a lot of overhaul on the book’s opening. I have done a lot of reworking on the first three chapters, which I really wanted to get to a point where it grabbed the reader with the pace, intensity, and intrigue.
So here are a few of the concepts and changes that have occurred as of late:
1. Omit immediate flashbacks from the “narrative” of the book. So this is not to say that there will not be backstory in the book. In fact, I hope to have a lot of it in my series. Personally I love backstory. My favorite book of the Harry Potter series might be The Half-Blood Prince because of all the backstory on Tom Riddle. However, I think starting with a flashback of Gabriel’s recruitment isn’t the right fit for a children’s book. That scene hasn’t been removed but is now in the prologue spot, which may or may not make it into the completed work.
2. Increased pace and intensity. So as a means of trying to get the young reader immediately interested, I worked to add more of a quick pace early on. Gabriel starts off the book rushing around his room and packing. Also, I have added some parts early on to give the reader some “wow” moments.
3. Add dimension to the characters. This is a big one. I went through each character and added some aspect to them. Whether that be a verbal tag or a character trait that makes them more unique. Each of the main characters was given specific characteristics from the beginning, but I have more intentionally gone through to list their characteristics visually, verbally, and in personality.
4. Increase the scope of the world. For a story to be really engrossing, the setting has to be rich with history and culture. So I’ve been adding small details to the narrative that will intrigue the reader in small doses. This is some of the stuff that was in the original prologue, which I moved and reworked. I felt the prologue that I had at first kind of gave too much away. No one wants a history lesson at the beginning of the story. It just isn’t fitting for a children’s book. So I redid it and put it in the orientation scene.