Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today as our country transfers power to a new president, I’m thinking about beginnings. The beginning of the Obama administration. The beginning of a new era where our presidents no long have to physically resemble our founding fathers, but can still carry forth the ideals on which the country was built. And the beginning of my work-in-progress.
Sure the last one isn’t as important and sweeping as the first two. But for me, right this minute, as I’m replotting and rewriting the mess that is my current book, it’s the one that occupies my mind the most. You see, this book is not working...yet. It’s not even close. And all of my problems start with the beginning.
There are many different ways to begin a book, but for me, there’s one way I like best. Fast. Intense. Urgent from page one. I’ve kicked off books in different ways, but the thriller-style beginning is my favorite to read and to write. My problem is that this story doesn’t lend itself to that kind of start. It has a little bit more of a cat-and-mouse plot. The tension is there, but it needs to linger, build, then explode, instead of exploding on page one.
So while I’m trying to get a feel for this story so I can finish it, I have a question for all of you. What kind of beginnings do you love in a story? Do you like your breathtaking romantic suspense to start with a bang? Or do you like it to begin with the time bomb ticking under the table and the characters unsure from where the danger might come? What are some of your favorite beginnings in the books you’ve read?
--Ann Voss Peterson