I began revising volume 1 yesterday, and updated the story summary on FictionPress to reflect that. Mostly it was fixing typos, grammar, and paragraph structure, and formatting dividers. However, I also deleted the prologue and added a little blurb from Labriella to the beginning of chapter 1. Since I deleted the prologue, the chapter numbers are no longer offset by the FictionPress numbering system, so all chapter numbering there should now be accurate.
Just to recap, I deleted the prologue because it became not only unnecessary but deterrent. Utilizing Kitiora to explain Rome’s parents’ murder and disappearance to Labriella in chapter 5 rendered the prologue obsolete. What’s more, the prologue depicted Rome losing his mind in a rather violent way. While this is indeed what happened on the story timeline, and serves as a phenomenal attention-grabber, it does not transition well into the rest of the story. I know it’s the prologue, which means it can stand alone. But as the story lengthened, it progressed farther and farther away from the tone and style of the prologue, so that now the prologue misrepresents the story to prospective readers who are screening the first chapter.
Now, however, the childhood chapters have caused me to come to a standstill in revisions.
You see, initially, the childhood section was nearly 7,000 words–close to the length of one of my regular chapters. This, I could get away with as an intro. But a few years back, a friend of mine who was a Publishing Major (and later went to the London School of Journalism for novel-writing) pointed out that my readers were going to want to know more background instead of just dialogue. In particular, he said I should explain the temple more. Since my intention was just to explain how my two main characters met so I could move on to the actual story, I just sort of stared at him, uncomprehending of how to adhere to his request. He was a beginning fantasy novelist himself, and seemed to know a great deal more about editing than I could ever hope to, so I trusted his judgment. But background was not something I deemed worthy of slowing down the freight train for. Still, I tried. And given a few years, and countless revision attempts, I came up with the three chapters you see now.
So now I face a challenge: My recent author acquaintance told me if I was going to keep the childhood beginning, it should only span about a chapter. But my Publishing Major friend told me I needed temple background. The only option I can see right now that might do both, would be cutting out chapters 2-3 entirely, and maybe tacking on the info ending of chapter 3 to the end of chapter 1 as a narrative transition. I don’t want to do that without feedback. What do you think?? Would you lose out on a lot if I took out chapters 2-3?