I have been banging on to Donna Alward about this -- yet another light bulb moment from S.T.C. -- the emotional colour wheel.
When you are writing about emotion -- you need to cover all the emotional range. Sometimes, it can be very tempting to keep piling misery after misery on but you need to show the triumphant as well. The light as well as the shadow.
Actually, it is when the light is brightest that you get the darkest shadows.
And if you keep repeating the same emotion over and over again, you lose the impact. Or at least significantly decrease it.
There is also the concept of positive/negative. The opening value of a scene must be in opposition to the closing value. BUT if you keep going hope/despair, hope/despair, the reader is going to get bored. So the closing note of the scene must be different from the closing note of the last scene. Otherwise, things feel off and static.. This is where the whole emotional colour wheel comes in. Anyway, I realised where some more of the problems with my current wip lie and think I can fix them.
Every manuscript throws up different problems...Ho hum. But at least I am starting to discover why that all important second chapter feels off.