I almost titled this Free At Last, but I have too much respect for Dr. King to attach his words to my work.
The rewrite is finally done. It still needs work. Oh man, does it ever, but I finally got everything to fit in the right sequence. The happiest news is that I'm well over 50,000 words now, which was the minimum I needed. The original was only 47,000 words. And well over 50,000 means I can cut if I need to.
I have no problem with the new material I wrote for most of the story, but the new first chapter can't seem to please me. I'm still too attached to my old first chapter. It's silly, but I feel sorry for it. It tries so hard. I don't think any chapter in a book carries a heavier burden.
The first chapter has to:
Set the tone
Set the stage/show the world
Introduce the main character
Put the story into motion
Introduce or at least hint at the main conflict (hmmm. not sure if I hit that one)
oh, and be riveting so that the reader is drawn into the story.
The funny thing is that if it were a short story, all that plus conflict and resolution would be no problem, but for some reason, for a novel, it seems harder.