I've been thinking about this on and off all weekend. Friday night I made it to my writer's group biweekly meeting. I took an old but persistant story with me to read. This particular idea has been with me in one form or another since 2002. (That's seven years. Yikes!) Considering the number of years it's been rolling around inside my skull, I'd really like to get the rough draft hammered out. I'd like to finish it!
So I opened up the folder where I've stored all the bits and pieces. Research data, scene by scene outline, premise, character exercises, and several false starts. I probably have ten very different first chapters. I opened several of the false starts, debating on which one I should take. Finally I settled on the one that I thought did a fairly good job of introducing the worldbuilding I've done.
Then I read.
I got some great feedback. They brought up things I hadn't considered and should have, things I will be sure to incorporate into the story if the next incarnation calls for it. They made a few reader demands that I find frustrating but completely understandable. While my world may look like Ancient Egypt, it's not. This is fantasy, not alternative history. Grounding my reader in my world is an absolute necessity if the story is going to work.
So many of things they said, I agreed with, even if it meant starting over. Although, I really don't think it will because I'm pretty sure one of the other false starts might have done a better job of setting up the story and introducing my world.
You may be wondering why I think I'm annoying if I happen to agree with most everything they had to say. Well, I'm not very good at just saying thank you and nothing else. I like to talk about the story, about my decisions, and I felt not all of their information was 100% spot-on. So I let them have their say and then I raised a few points, which I'm beginning to believe they see as being argumentative, but I see as part of my process.
I think, though, if I'm going to stay with this group, I need to figure out how to stifle that urge.