A couple of years ago, we visited my husband's aunt over the holidays. This isn't an unusual event, we visit quite a bit. But this visit was...different. It started on Saturday morning when I was awoken by the smell of garlic and syrup. No, that isn't a typo.
She'd gotten this great recipe for baked french toast from a co-worker; one of the ingredients was 'texas style toast'. She took that literally and bought a brand of bread called Texas Toast...yeah, the kind sold in a box to serve with spaghetti. The garlic kind. I have been forever thankful that she chose plain-garlic and not garlic-cheesy...I might never have recovered. I'm not much of a breakfast person under the best of circumstances and this was...definitely not the best. The smells warred in my nose until I felt sick to my stomach. Needless to say, no breakfast was eaten that day but thankfully she's a good sport because her children have been teasing her about it ever since.
What does this story have to do with writing? Sometimes, writing books is that way. At first it's a niggling feeling - like the niggling smell that awoke me that morning. Then it morphs into a full-on oh-my-god-thats-bad gasp. Quickly followed by the need to retch into the nearest trash can.
I had one of those recently, but the beauty of a badly written beginning is that it can be fixed. Deleted. Started over. Sure, there is the lingering how-did-i-do-that feeling lingering in the air (kind of like syrupy garlic in the kitchen), but once the clean up is begun, it's easier to joke about that bad beginning...and pretend it never happened.