Recently I'd pulled a number of old short stories and decided to do some work on them and send them out again. One in particular, which belongs in the same sequence as "Spiral Horn, Spiral Tusk" (it's about the son of the principal protagonists), seemed to be an easy fix.
However, as I got into it again, I began to wonder if I'd really started it too early, and whether the buildup to the shipwreck was really germane to the story. However, as I tried to find some way to excise it, I had the problem of creating a new beginning for it that would set up the situation sufficiently to make a reader care.
But then, beginnings are always tough, and beginnings of short stories doubly so. You've got to set up the situation quickly, yet not so much so that the reader becomes lost. Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out what bits of information are so critical they have to be presented upfront, and what bits can be saved for later without trouble.