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Sylvia Shipp

Thanks for your comment. Based on the novels in progress I saw at the writing workshop in Chicago 2008, I'd bet it's a common mistake for most first-time authors.

That's encouraging news that you were able to get most of your material back into the story, AND that the story was better for it in the end:)

The book I've been relying on this past year to guide me with plot is Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. It's comprehensive and won't leave you feeling insecure about your plot or structure.

R. Garrett Wilson

I recently finished my first novel.  I sent it out to a few agents and then realized, like you did, that the first few chapters were not where the story should begin.  The majority of the text made it back in flashbacks, but not all.  It was hard work placing the flashbacks appropriately to enhance scenes instead of taking away from them.  The end result was a much better intro without detriment to the story, IMO.  Unfortunately, I did it too late for my first round of query letters.  Oh well, live and learn. I hope the process is as rewarding for you as it was for me -  but a little more timely.  :)  Good luck with the writing!

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