Wrestling with the pace of the beast - how do you balance thought versus action?

I finished my latest mystery and felt good that I'd been able to keep it at 90,000 words (my first novel was (until revised) 110,000 words.  When I went back to revise my draft I realized I'd started Chapter 1 with my murder vic thinking about a wrong he'd committed against his best friend and, in fact, being alone in a fire tower (where he is murdered by being burned alive), trying to figure out how to make things right. 

 

I like the beginning (it's only one section - about four paragraphs), but I became worried .  I'd set up my novel's main conflict in this section, but in this section everything was happening inside my vic's head.  No matter how I tried, and oh did I ever try, the story had to shake down with this beginning.  

 

Questions:

  1. Is beginning the first chapter this way, inside the character's head instead of having my character engaged in action, less exciting for readers?  
  2. Specifically, does beginning a novel this way slow pacing?
  3. Do you have/have you had a similar (and quite frustrating) experience?    

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Bring some good stuff back from Donald Maas.  I love his books even though they rejected my book.  

In a way, I'm glad they did.  It helped me make the right decision for me - Ebook.

Brian, I just read that I.J. Parker got her first buck from an epub of her Akitada novels. Super cool, eh?  I'm writing a series for epubbing, and of course sticking to my larger goal of finding a conventional publisher for other series I'm creating.  This is sooooo exciting.  I do love what Maass has done for me as a writer - pushed me past some boring and static stuff in my style.  But (gulp!) like you, I'm getting ready to submit to the Maass Man!  So . . . let's see what happens. 

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