First Chapter Available!

Word count update: 19,704. The last couple weeks have been mostly re-working existing chapters. A nip here, and some expansion there, and a first chapter as good as I can get it…


Until now, I had been working with my two main characters, Tom and Julie, simply as two former friends having to work together to save their families. They’d stopped hanging out after some mystery event in Julie’s life in which Tom could have helped her out, but did not. It would have been one of those high-schooly-kid kind of things where one minute you have a million friends and the next minute you don’t. Watch any high school drama. It’s a guaranteed part of someone’s story arc. Anyway, Tom could have helped with damage control, but instead kept out of it. Bad friend.

running through a high school hallway to red my first chapter
(High school guy running away from helping a friend)

As I wrote, I decided I wanted more than a “bad friend” relationship. I wanted a “I never thought I’d talk to you again” relationship. So, I had to adjust.

I mean, that sort of thing happens on daily basis, I’m sure. (Unless TV has been lying to me.) The trouble I was having was that it was getting hard to explain concisely. I also couldn’t pin down a good reason why Julie would earn the near-universal scorn I wanted for her character. I charged down the road of over-explaining (not unlike this post) and still ended up with something that hit about a 6 on the compelling-story-o-meter. Why go through all this trouble of writing a story for a “meh” plot point where I needed something more emotional?

crying about teenage emotions on my first chapter post

So, I’m re-treading, re-working, re-hashing a little to insert those bits of the new background story. The word count doesn’t move much as a result. What readers understand quickly about Tom and Julie’s relationship should increase dramatically. Because everything in high school is dramatic.

Finally, the First Chapter

Here’s the buried headline: I am finally happy with the first chapter of the book and have decided to post it. I’ve put it two places, pick whichever suits you:


Please, read it. Let me know what you think. Chapter 2, Julie’s introduction will go up this week or next. I’m also thinking of posting some character profiles. Would even one person reading this like to see that? One vote will get it done (but that’s why I’m mentioning it way down here).

I’m heading out to the fantastic ATX Television Festival later this week! Time has gotten gobbled up by other fun-stuff, so Chapter 2 may have to wait. Check out the coverage I’ll be providing with my wife over on!

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2 thoughts on “First Chapter Available!”

  1. Pingback: Chapter 2: Let's Meet Julie - Author Paul Daley
  2. Trackback: Chapter 2: Let's Meet Julie - Author Paul Daley
  3. Pingback: Chapter 3: Clint - The Not-so-Evil Bad Guy - Author Paul Daley
  4. Trackback: Chapter 3: Clint - The Not-so-Evil Bad Guy - Author Paul Daley

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