The initial reviewer of the first chapters of my most recent mystery novel asked “Where’s the conflict?” The next critiquer said “Lacks tension.” The third reader followed with “Needs more action.” Number four summed it up with “Nothing worth turning the page in these chapters.”
Nothing. Worth. Turning. The. Page.
The manuscript took shape as my fifth NaNoWriMo challenge last November. My main focus was the gallop to the finish line before Thanksgiving dinner. Four months later the novel smelled worse than unrefrigerated limburger on a summer day. Only the title, Retribution, offered action, conflict and tension.
I tried to revise the first chapters, but it was like rerolling a pie crust. The more I worked, the tougher it became. After a face-to-face meeting with a couple of the reviewers, I choose to lay it aside and concentrate on my second NaNo novel. It started with tension and conflict on the first page. The characters pushed forward to form a strong plot and subplots. An arc and a justice-prevails conclusion followed.
A page turner.