Last week, I mentioned that I am rewriting an old manuscript that I’d actually already rewritten once, but from memory. This week, I thought I’d show you the first chapters of all three so you can see how different, or how alike, they are.
There were a couple of things I found interesting in the first chapter of the original manuscript. For one thing, it looks like my first try had actually started with what later became chapter two, from the viewpoint of my main male character. I then added a chapter from the woman’s point of view instead.
The second was that the first version of the story gave the main female two dogs, not just one, but there are handwritten edits in the first few chapters that eliminated an outdoor watch dog called Mutt. Poor Mutt. Perhaps I will have to resurrect you in a new story someday.
The third thing that surprised me was when I was rewriting this from memory, I was certain I’d actually had the woman choose to sleep in the car, not fall asleep accidentally. I’m not sure if I just remembered wrong, or perhaps had planned to change it and didn’t, or maybe my subconscious had been editing the story line for thirty years, and thought that detail should be added.
What I tried to do in the third, brand new version was amp up the tension sooner, and make Sarah’s mental stability seem more questionable. That was accomplished by making Paddy a therapy dog, and expanding the effects of her mother’s voice in her head.
To compare the first chapters, go to Page 2 . Then let me know if you have a favorite from the three options.