Don’t mind me. It’s Sunday. I’m just thinking out loud here a bit (yet again).
A year ago, as I was writing, I had a different chapter opening the book. But I changed my mind on its use there. Published, that chapter – reworked somewhat – appears deeper in the story.
I had thought its initial positioning had made sense. When I was first organizing it, I had wanted to open the book with a “catchy” sort of “flash-forward.” I planned to shift back in time afterwards to commence the main narrative.
But in doing that I managed to thoroughly confuse at least one proofreader. Okay, well, maybe not “thoroughly.” However, she did note she became distracted from the flow of the tale by my ordering the chapters that way.
I did NOT want that, so I scrapped that idea. I wanted readers immersed in the story and the characters. Confusing them with “bells and whistles” was never an aim.
So aside from a couple of chapters that appear physically one after another, but which clearly demonstrate concurrent time (people experiencing separate events simultaneously), I went for essentially a start to finish, straightforward narrative. (If we think on real life, too, when we meet people we find ourselves “dropped” into their lives “in that instant.” I make that point here as well.)
Everyone has their own opinions and tastes of course. Personally, I find it irritating when stories are too much back and forth between past and present. We see lots of that now in films and on TV.