On the way to critique group yesterday I saw this scene and had to jump out of my car and shoot it on my handy cell phone. Flowers and snowy mountains are the bounty of California after it rains. The payoff.
At critique, I read the first chapter of my novel-in-progress, Sea Daughters, and got good feedback. But no one addressed an issue nagging in the back of my mind. I've been thinking it was a slow opening, and, these days, that can get a rejection in five minutes flat.
I decided to speak up and then found out there were concerns. One person suggested a starting point that I think will increase the mystery and tension immediately. The material was all there, but it needed an adjustment--move one thing up front, delete another scene.
The current SCBWI Bulletin has an article "Page One" by Karen Schwabach that suggests you should write the first page last, after you know what you are offering the reader, because it is a promise, a contract you need to keep. Does the beginning hint at what the story will be, where it will end?
I may write and rewrite the opening more times, but I feel like the changes I'm making today are a big step in the right direction. Have you found your opening only after you secured your ending?
P.S. I am going to be offline a couple of days. Happy writing, everyone.