The first section of my book has always given me a lot of trouble. Everything I read suggests keeping the first fifty pages fast paced with a lot of dialogue, but I can't have dialogue between the two main characters because my male MC is DEAD. Yeah. He doesn't know the female MC, Emma, can see him, and she doesn't know he's supposed to be invisible. Though it does make for some really fun situations, such as, one of her lunch breaks where he comes up and sits next to her on the park bench and makes comments about the book she's reading, where she came from, how young she is, etc. She is flustered and feels like he's playing mind games. He doesn't think she can hear him—no one else has before. His fingers are resting close to her bare arm, and she's hiding in this stupid paperback about aliens, just trying to pretend she doesn't care. They've never looked each other in the eye, they've never touched, and a reader has to wade through all of this exposition for a while and trust that I, the writer, am leading them somewhere good. It's a tough one, and like I said, the whole thing has given me trouble from day one.
I did not want Emma to discover that Will was a ghost too soon; I wanted it to be a slow reveal. There's one scene where she goes out to look for him one night, because she figures he must be homeless—what with him never changing his clothes or eating or anything. She goes out and leaves money and a small bag of food—a breeze holds her in place and whispers her name. All the leaves in the trees shiver and shake and times stands still. This couldn't have happened if I had given them a concrete relationship from the start, because in the world of spirits, nothing is concrete. It's about having faith and stepping out of that physical, real world, into a more symbolic, ethereal existence. And Emma being kissed by the breeze is her first introduction into belief beyond proof. It's magic and requires a lot of slow build. I guess in so many ways I have made it hard for readers, but I felt it was right for the story.
I do, however, have real people Emma can talk to. One is her boss at the library: Ethyl the paperback novel reading wise-ass who champions against the evil cult-church who only want to shut her down—knowledge is dangerous in a town that wishes to stay locked in time. They don't want anyone to learn too much, especially ghost man Will, because knowledge means questioning the status quo which can lead to serious revolt. So anyway, that's who Emma talks to at first. Then she meets bad boy Jesse whom she thinks she can trust. He's her friend for awhile, and you think she's forgotten about Will, but things change fast and all is revealed. That's where I have so much dialogue you want to kill me.
Anyone else have massive problems in their books? Isn't it frustrating?