I don’t know why I find them so difficult to commit to. I keep going over the first three chapters and rethinking everything I’ve written, I question motivations, reactions and dialogue. I wonder if I’ve started the story in the right spot, if there’s enough action, if it’s enticing enough to make the reader (or editor) want to keep reading.
Those first three chapters are make it or break it, really.
You’re introducing your characters, their conflict, the premise. Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to say, “okay, these chapters are ready to go!” And I can’t finish the book without having a polished partial. I mean I can leave little grammar type of editing for the end, or if I have to go and add some details that I realize are necessary once the manuscript is done, but everything else must be there.
When I think about it, I judge a book by the time I’ve finished the first three chapters. Especially if it’s a new author. By that point you’ve gotten a good idea of the author’s voice and whether or not the story is unfolding slowly or quickly, if you like the characters, if you like the dialogue…a lot.
I love when I discover a book that’s so good I just can’t put it down…and ultimately that’s what I’d like to write as well!