This morning I made a decision that greatly improved The Battle of Raven Kill. I chopped off the first four pages. Like an executioner's axe already bloody from a busy punch list, I carved away the pages of setup and description that I had previously thought necessary. Why? Because they were slowing down the story and kept bringing up more questions than they answered. Many people feel that they must explain things to their readers early on in the story or else the reader won't 'get it.' What I found when I tried to do this was that I wasn't making things clearer, I was making them murkier. Questions like 'who are these people?' and 'what is their relationship to the main character?' kept coming up. Every time I tried to work on that section I found I needed to expand things when I knew I wanted to contract them. The solution was beginning to become apparent and this morning I just did it. Reading through the reworked opening showed me that everything I was trying to set up could be done in one paragraph. It is simply much better this way.
Added bonus: I saved the writing to another file and now I have Deleted Scenes that I can add to the DVD.