This is a phrase my dad use to say when he was explaining something unpleasant or painful that must be done in order to heal or improve a situation. Now, my dad wasn't a surgeon, so maybe I should have taken his advice with a grain of salt.
But since I recently entered Lydia Sharp's blog critique contest of your first 500 words (to your novel), I took Dad's words to heart.
This contest (now known as The Awesome) was great, because even the losers (like me) got a great (and free!) critique of our first 500 words. So, having mulled over Lydia's comments, slowly digesting their meaning last night, I took the opportunity today to cut the heck out of my manuscript (well, the first 500 words of it, anyhow!) and try to address the issues she spotted.
The result? A much more interesting, dynamic opening! My biggest problem was that I didn't really give a POV, even though in the rest of the story I do have a clear protagonist who's POV is shown. Know what? I hadn't even realized I'd screwed that up in my hook! That's the danger of knowing your story too well--you can miss big problems that an unbiased mind might see.
So, big thanks to Lydia for taking time to do such a cool contest!
And soon we'll see if my writers' group agrees with my changes. I think they put The Awesome back in my hook. :)