In all the excitement about the Riverbend news, I didn’t spend much time with my new manuscript last week. And when I say that I didn’t spend much time, I mean, of course, that I didn’t spend any time. I’m one man. Cut me a break.

Yesterday, on the golf course, Gone to Milford drifted back into my mind, and it came with a solution to a nettlesome problem I’ve been struggling with for two drafts now: how to imbue the story from the start with the appropriate level of foreboding. The story, in total, unwinds some very difficult relationships, but not in a traditional separation-and-reconciliation sort of way. That’s the extent of what I’ll say. If you want to know the rest, read the book when it emerges.

The story starts at the end. What I struggled with was where at the end I should begin. What follows are the original beginning and the one I amended it to earlier today:

The early version

UPDATE: Based on initial feedback and my own evolving thoughts, I went back and did some tweaking and came up with a new, expanded beginning.

Here it is.

Which one, if either, makes Does this make you want to read more? Why or why not? Tell me in the comments section.

I’ll be interested to hear the responses.