Even so, I was thrown for a loop last week when my editor asked for the first two chapters to show to the sales force. I had the first two chapters, but they were nowhere near polished, and one of them needed a lot of research that I hadn't planned to do until later.
I did complete the research, polish the chapters, and turn them in last Monday. And part of me feels a lot better about this book now that the beginning is set in stone, sort of. But I really would have preferred not to let anyone see my work, even the very beginning of it, until I was finished writing the entire novel. Normally I would go back and make huge changes to chapter 1 after writing chapter 20, because I'm not absolutely sure what goes on in chapter 1 until then.
I don't write in order. I write some of the beginning, some of the end, some of the middle, a conversation three-fourths of the way through, back to the beginning, a hilarious scene three chapters in... In other words, I write the whole book at once, not a chapter at a time. I realize most people don't do this, and I have tried writing a book in order, with disastrous results. This makes it really hard for me to sell on proposal--writing the first three chapters and a synopsis of a book, selling it, and then finishing it. In fact, the only book I've ever sold that way was ENDLESS SUMMER, but that's because it was a sequel, so I already had those characters' voices in my head.
I feel like this is a real handicap for me. But hey, writing a novel is difficult work, and if I have a quirk while doing it, well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to live with it.
What about you? Does this writing