As I wrap up Gypsy I'm thinking about my next story and how to start it. Some books are character-driven, some books are plot-driven. Ideally, you should love the characters AND be drawn irresistibly into the story.
But how do you begin?
Personally, I think my best stories start with conflict, not characters or even plots. I've built entire small towns from the ground up and peopled them, but without conflict there's no story. I do have lots of pretty pictures, tho. Perhaps someday I'll have a story for them.
My first saleable (in my opinion) book, The Vampire Hunter, starts with an attack. That was the first scene I saw and, for me, a great place to start. Why did she attack him? How did he get away? What happened next?
Come to think of it, Spellbinder starts with a considerate (bespelled) assassin trying to kill the heroine. She turned him into a dog and the rest of the story, obviously, just wrote itself.
Hey--SeaWitch starts when the hero (in a case of mistaken identity) kidnapped the heroine. I'm beginning to see a pattern here.
Conflict and a question. That's the right way to start.
Hmm. The Queen's Consort starts with an assassination attempt gone wrongt. Spitfire starts with a pirate attack.
But conflict has to be balanced, too, with less stress and even some humor. Some conflict is essential--think of the movie Speed--but too much conflict (Speed 2) is numbing.
I gotta keep all this in mind as I start my next book.
Ta ta for now!