I've done a little work on TUO this week, but another beta/friend of mine read what I had done so far and said that she was confused about why everyone was afraid of the guards in the castle.
Me: Well, they're not the greatest guys.
Her: You need to show examples of that. You can't leave it a mystery, because if you have too many mysteries, then people will get confused and stop reading.
Me: *insert huge sigh and defeated look here*
However, here's the rub - the characters haven't encountered the guards yet. I'm very close to the scene where Mattie, the main character, bumps into the King and realizes that her friends were right all along and the guards are jerks, but until that point they're just background characters. She suggested foreshadowing (well, it would be backshadowing really, since all the examples I mentioned to her in our conversation are situations that happened in the story's past) but I can't do too much talking about the past within the first few chapters because that may loose readers as well.
I'm trying to stick with my policy of 'it's my story, I will write it how I want to' (and then worry about edits after everything is said and done) but I'm self-conscious and want to please everyone so I find myself doing rewrites again.
Of course, all of this has been pushed to the side momentarily because it's tax season right now - which is turning out to be more of a headache than usual this year. I bring this up, because from what I've read on various blogs authors either make estimated payments throughout the year or pay a lump sum. Patricia Wrede (who actually has a lot of great writing advice in her blog) discusses taxes more here and estimated taxes here. Personally, after dealing with the mess that is this years taxes, when it comes time for me to self publish, I'm going to make large estimated payments throughout the year to hopefully avoid owing the Federal Government. I may also pay someone to do my taxes instead of doing it all myself.