This morning I received the feedback for my Novel Beginning entry to this year's Pennwriters contest. I submitted the first 10 pages of the sequel to my WIP, and no, I didn't win, or even place. Not surprising--- it was a rush job getting it in on time. Anonymous Judge No. 1 gave me very little feedback. S/he even forgot to attach the scoring sheet. The one definite thing s/he did was to suggest I cut out some back story. On the other hand, Anonymous Judge No. 2 (who did include the score sheet) wanted more back story! Lots more of it! And reflection on it from my POV character! What's more, s/he really, really, wants me to start with my female protag in the Krav Maga class, not in the ladies room after. That'd make for lots more excitement. Lots more drama. Much more potential for tension. I don't object to beginning with the self defense class, myself. I had it that way when I PM'd the first couple of chapters to @KaTrian for her to crit the KM moves. And it was like that when I submitted my first pages to the live critique at the Pennwriters conference a year ago. But the pro writers and the hotshot agent on the May '17 panel all agreed that starting with the Krav Maga was too much like a "movie" beginning and didn't work for a novel. So I revised all that out for the contest . . . and look what happened. The Anonymous Judges are all pros, as were the critiquers on the live panel. Shouldn't their feedback all carry equal weight? But No. 2 has really stirred the pot. So, whom do I believe? If it were your novel, would you restore the original beginning on the strength of the kind of feedback I got today? Or would you hold off, write the rest of the novel, and come back to the first chapter when you're done?