I’m looking at Nita’s book in big picture mode now, and frankly, the fun stuff starts in the second act. Well, it always does because first acts are slow because you have to do some set-up, and you have to tell the story while you’re doing the set-up, and the set-up becomes a weight penalty for the story. And right now my first act is over 35,000 words. Since I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to come out over 100,000 words, that’s not the end of the world, but I do worry that’s too long before the Good Stuff starts.
So the first act is one day (35,000 words is one day, ye gods) and at the end of it, Nita believes in the supernatural. Then the second act is Nita coping with that and finally starting to uncover the weird on the island with the help of Nick, Button, Rab, Dag, and Max, so there’s team building and Button shoots Max, and Nick and Nita hit the sheets and Nita gets a hell hound and finds out she has powers, stuff happens that moves the plot so it’s a brand new story, and then something huge happens at the midpoint and it’s really a brand new story, and then there’s another big shift at the last turning point, and Nita harrows Hell and gets a triumphant ending.
What I’m saying is, once I get the reader through the first act, the book moves as fast as Nita does. And what I have to figure out is if that first act is too slow to keep people reading. It’s no good saying, “But wait, it gets really good later,” because if it’s too slow, there won’t be a later, people will leave.
Frankly at this point I’ve read that first act too many times to know. Frankly, at this point, you all have read that first act too many times to know, too. Krissie’s book is finished, maybe I’ll make her read it. That’s what friends are for. Argh.