Then I hear a voice in my head. "Excuse me," it says very politely. "You need to start the book with me."
I'm startled. "I beg your pardon?"
"I'm the male protagonist..." says the voice. "...and you need to start the book with me."
"I started the last book with the male protagonist. I want a different beginning this time," I huffily replied.
The voice continued, a touch more firmly, "What you did last time isn't relevant. For this book, here and now, you need to start off with me."
What a pushy character! I ignored him, and went on my not-so-merry way, trying to fit the beginning I was stubbornly holding on to.
Then, in amusement, he taunted, "It's not working for you, is it?"
"Fine! Fine!" I shouted. "I'll show you that this book should not start with you!" My family already thinks I'm nuts, and hearing me shout at thin air did nothing to change their minds.
All those exclamation points - for nothing.
He was right. I needed to start the book with him. Geez, I hate it when the characters are right. More rewriting ahead, and I'm still at the beginning...