If Spring were a color what color do you think it would be?
Green! Well, that’s what I think. Fall used to be my favorite time of year, but as I get older, spring has leaped into that favorite spot. I love the smell of spring. I love the crispness of the air, the budding and then flowering of the trees, the smell of folks cutting their grass. So much to love about spring.
But my favorite thing about the new season of spring is the promise of new beginnings. We’ve spent the winter, at least in Georgia, in some cold weather, dreary rainy days, cloudy days. A season of nurturing in some ways, and a season of anticipation in other ways.
Kind of like relationships, right? I love reading romance because of the promise of new relationships. We’ve talked before about beginnings, middles and endings as far as which is our favorite. Mine hands down is beginnings. As I writer that can be dangerous. I’m not sure how many books I’ve started—and still have only the beginnings. Not to say I won’t go back to them, but it’s a dangerous place for a gal like me.
Last month we talked about first lines, so it seemed logical to transition into beginnings. As a writer beginnings are super important. Not only in engaging the reader, but in setting up plot points and expectations. In romance we know there will be a happy ending, but it’s the journey there that holds the reader’s attention.
Writing secret! For me, I’m linear. I see the story in a horizontal line. I may know the ending in my mind, but I can’t imagine writing scenes out of order. What keeps me on track the best is a device called the ticking time bomb. An event that you read about at the beginning of the story and usually happens at the end. This keeps me on track in many ways. With passing time, with an external plot. A party can be a ticking time bomb, a deadline, a wedding, anything that has a specific time and intertwines with the characters story and emotional journey.
Another aspect about beginnings is the cute-meet. Whether it’s a reunion story or a brand new romance, I love the first meet up. One of my favorite parts of writing the book is thinking up the cute meet.
Then comes the initial conflict. Yikes! What is going to keep these two apart? Emotionally and plot wise. How can these two possibly end up together? Another writing secret! If a conversation can clear up a misunderstanding, back to the drawing board–new or additional conflict needed.
So many things to think about when preparing the beginning of the book. But I love it! As a writer and a reader. What are your favorite aspects of the beginning of the book? The conflict? The cute-meet? Something else? We’d love to hear them and talk about them.