You will not need to read the first chapter to understand, but I will post it below. If you want to read it first go ahead, but I will post a synopsis with some backstory here. The problem I am having is that the transition between the first chapter and the rest of my story is jarring. It is about a man coming from one world and into another. He is a slightly overweight military vet that worked as an aircraft mechanic in the Navy. His abusive father just passes away and he finds a book with some instructions on how to open a portal to another world in some of his parents belongings. There is a good amount of backstory to all of it. It does turn out that his ancestors had fled to Earth thousands of years before. They fled because their type of magic can be harvested by mages turning pieces of their souls into magical items or giving people things like immortality. The process for this is dangerous though and no one in his family told him anything about it. Most people with this talent unknowingly make a magical item for their first time unknowingly during a time of emotional trauma. The MC actually makes his first magical item at his fathers funeral. His family history is important as well since the mental illness that is seen throughout his family is because of this gift. The act of using their magic deadens them to the emotion they felt during creation. After rewriting this chapter so many times I just don't know exactly what I should do. I want to grip my readers, but it is difficult. After the first chapter the book is a dark epic fantasy. Here is a link to the first chapter.
I do have some new ideas, but don't know if any would feel right. So I will list some below and if anyone has recommendations let me know.
-Have him start at the stone circle performing a lengthy ceremony
-Instead of only instructions have a letter describing why people two thousand years ago went back. Then go to the stone circle.
-Have him cleaning out the family's Irish home after his father passes. Make him prepare better.
-Have a prologue about the group that was being chased by witch hunters two thousand years ago and their flight back into the other world. Then start off where I wrote.
Edit- Don't worry about any grammar mistakes I am taking care of them. Rewriting it so much that sometimes what comes out is a little off.