The new book is coming along nicely. If you had asked me about it over the weekend, my answer would have been different. After slogging through it for a while (and abandoning it in favor of my knitting projects) on Saturday, I finally finished the second chapter and started a little of the third (and posted that little snippet from where I'd left off on Sunday). I'd had this book mentally planned out for ages and had just been waiting to start it after the house stuff settled down. I couldn't figure out why I was having such trouble with it. At first, I blamed losing the nice momentum I'd built up at the beginning of the summer on the move. But something just didn't seem right.
I looked at the beginning of Chapter Three. I thought about what I had planned for Chapter Four. Even though I pretty much knew the response I was going to get, I made a post over at the Absolute Write forums. They confirmed my suspicions: I simply started my story in the wrong place.
I won't lie, parting with my original vision wasn't completely worry-free. No one really likes to admit that something they put a lot of time and effort into simply didn't work out, for whatever reason. I chose to look at it this way: if I was getting bored writing it, it would be ten times more boring for the reader. Wouldn't it be a lot less painful to just cut it now rather than getting feedback later about how the plot was slow to start and the whole book was just difficult to get into?
I didn't completely erase those two chapters, as they could prove useful somehow down the line. Even if I don't use everything in them, I don't consider them a complete waste of time. I moved them into a separate file called "unnecessary prologue", as that's what they really were. However, while the information in them may be unnecessary for the reader, it gives me a clearer picture of some of the characters I want to portray.
As soon as I got rid of those chapters and retitled Chapter Three as Chapter One, I immediately felt a million times better. Much like with the aforementioned knitting, cutting can be a scary thing. Frequently, though, the results are worth it!