Editor's advice over the last few days:
The first two chapter that I have hated so much for months... well, they're getting deleted. Which is a-okay with me. My editors gave me the idea of starting at chapter 3, and just weaving in some of the other details later. Sometimes, the best advice is that simple. I'm working on meshing all three together now.. and not much of my first chapters are getting put in there.
I have also been fretting about how to introduce how my characters looks. I've been doing some "research" (i.e. novel reading) to figure out how other authors have done it. There seems to be only a few formulas.
1) The "just come out and say it method" which sometimes seems a little contrived. There a few instances in life where we take stock of ourselves and how we look... and most of the time that's negative stock.
2) The "slowly come out with it method". Some authors take an entire novel or even a few chapters to go over all the basics. I've always hated this method personally because the reader develops images in their mind of what someone looks like, and if the author contradicts that it can take away from the story line.
3) The "have someone else do it method". This usually requires someone of the opposite sex swooping in and declaring how much they love every little thing about the protagonist. Usually annoying, and highly contrived.
The thing about my novel... is that I had the perfect outlet the entire time and it never dawned on me. My chick is telepathic. There's my in right there. One of the first things we notice about someone is how they look. We make judgments based on how they look, what they're wearing, how they talk, what they say. She has to deal with that on a daily basis... surely she's developed a few opinions on herself by now. Duh, why didn't I see it before?
I also have a few details that I need to weave into the story and figure out how to beef it up a little bit.
My beta readers/editors are amazing. Absolutely amazing!
More to come!