That is the question.
I was reading an MS from the slushpile today, and getting very frustrated with the opening paragraphs. My frustration was for many reasons, but one of them was the way the MC was introduced to new concepts.
The MC was starting in a state of ignorance, as are many MCs in YA fantasy, and is found by people who know more than her whose job it is to educate her. And herein lies my problem. It's not interesting to read about an MC being lectured in what they don't know. It's passive. The MC is not actively seeking this information, she didn't even know it was out there. It just fell into her lap. She was even ignorant about her ignorance so there was no reason for her to go actively searching for an answer. And ... I was not terribly entertained. The end result? I stopped reading after about four chapters. (I would have stopped earlier but I'm still nervous as a new intern about not giving MSS enough of a chance.)
My story, to a certain extent, suffers from a similar problem, and it's taken me til now, pinpointing it in this story, to realise it's what's causing me grief with mine. I've rewritten my first 40-60 pages or so about four times now. Each times it's gotten marginally better but I'm never fully happy with it and now I know why: my MC is ignorant, and, rather than not taking no for an answer when her seniors refuse to give information, she accepts her ignorance and waits for it to fall into her lap.
The thing is, her ignorance is so important to the story (but not ignorance of her ignorance - she knows there are things she doesn't know and this is imporatant). So, the solution as I see it is to remove the sources of information that are handed to her and make her go out and get it. And that means ... well ... basically a rewrite, probably from start to finish.
If I can find time around two internships, full time work and part time uni.
Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Have you found ways to make your current set-up work with minimal rewriting, or did you have to do a complete overhaul? If the latter please just lie to me and tell me it was easy peasy! Kidding, I really do want to know about your experiences and your words of wisdom.
PS. Please excuse me if I'm making little to no sense. It's late, and I'm tired, and I've just had an unepiphany that looks like it's going to equal oodles of work.