Picture book writers maintain that they have to slave over every single word. I believe them. In fact, I was more than willing to agree with them that they had a much tougher job on a word by word basis than novelists did. That was before I spent three weeks writing the first chapter of Calyn’s story followed by two weeks of revising the opening chapter of SUSPECT.
But I did manage to finish a semi-polished draft of PORTRAIT (working title) in eight days. It’s not perfect by any means, but it was good enough to come along with me to the Missouri SCBWI retreat at Trout Lodge last weekend. I received some good feedback on areas of confusion. Even better, I received a few grumblings along the lines of “This is a brand-new first draft?” Everyone present during that critique session knew just how hard first chapters can be. And this one might wind up being a real bugger when I go back to it. But for now, I’ll let myself move forward after I do just a bit of shaping and sweeping.