Had the wonderful experience of having my first 250 words in the contest on Miss Snark's First Victim. It confirmed to me an idea that had been solidifying in my mind: Everyone needs a good critique partner.
It doesn't matter how many times I rewrite. It's always going to makes sense to me. I know what's going on. But when someone else takes a look, problems are pointed out that are so obvious I have to smack myself for not seeing them.
But I think we're all like that. We all need someone to look at our work objectively; from a distance we can never really have with our own writing. Having readers helps to some extent, but there's no replacing the careful critique of another writer. Someone else who toils and labors and thinks about writing as much as you do.
I was lucky enough to get a lot of critique. Much of it said the same thing. I took a long look at my opening and saw places it could be fixed and reworked it. I'll post the rework in the next few days for comparison's sake.
But the other point was which of my main characters to open the story with. It's been a debate in my mind, but yesterday I wrote my 5th version of the first chapter. We'll see where that goes. Hopefully I can find critique partners to help me moving forward.