How hard are your words working for you?
As we get into our second and third chapters, my classmates and I are hearing the dreaded words: too much exposition. It's an easy trap to fall into. We try to fill in back story without leaving behind an info dump, we try to build character without telling the reader, we try to set the scene without a big block of description.
It's a lot to do.
Real live teens might sit around and chat just for fun, but in your book, their conversation has to have a purpose. They need to be revealing character, moving the plot and/or sharing info the reader needs to see. And they need to be doing it subtly. Every scene, every sentence, has to drive the story forward.
Are you feeling the pressure?
A lot of times we do this without thinking. Then there are those days where you move the same five words back and forth until you're ready to poke your eyeballs out. Been there.
But I'll share a little secret: finishing is half the battle. My class started a few weeks ago with 15 people, 13 people turned in outlines the second week. The following week, only 6 of us turned in our first chapters.
That's a pretty steep drop off.
It's hard work people. Not everyone can really make the commitment. Getting past the exposition is just the beginning. But if you're one of those people who perseveres, who puts in the time, you'll get there.
Make your words work. Some day they'll return the favor and be working for you.