So, while we're all singing along with The Sound of Music tune up above, let us think about where we start our stories.
There have been over 1000 New Voices entries. Some of the starting points have been good, some have been unusual, some have been mediocre. Lots of the comments have been around telling people they haven't started their story in the right place.
Do you find it very easy to start? Do the words just flow easily along?
Or do you have a few hit and misses before you can really get started?
I've done both of these things.
In my first book It Started With a Pregnancy, I wrote the beginning three times. First attempt had Missy in the shower thinking about what she'd done the night before. But it was too much tell and not enough show. Second attempt had her walking into the ward and meeting her one night stand. But again, too much thinking back to the events beforehand.
But neither of these versions 'felt' right.
Attempt three started in the bar, where they met, left together and did some horizontal dancing. And the words just flowed from there.
Book number two, The Boy Who Made Them Love Again, started with Abby Tyler having a lazy day in the ER, seconds later her ex Luke Storm shows up with the First Lady in labour in the back of the secret service limousine! This time the starting point felt right. There was panic, shock and a very important patient to treat. Not to mention, Luke finding out Abby has a young son.
Book number three, West Wing to Maternity Wing, starts with Lincoln Adams looking after the President's premature baby. Seconds later he gets a call to say his heavily pregnant wife has collapsed at the police cordon outside the hospital. Only problem is - Lincoln Adams doesn't have a wife.
And Book four starts with John Carter receiving a letter. He is expecting it to tell him the embryos that him and his wife created for their now defunct marriage have been destroyed. Instead the letter tells him that one of those embryos has been wrongly implanted, and someone else is now carrying his child.
And Book five? Right now, I have no idea where it will start. All I do know is - I always need to start in the right place. Otherwise things don't flow and the story doesn't progress.
So what about you? Do you have problems starting in the right place? Or, does it all just flow easily? Or, have you ever read a book that you felt didn't start in the right place?
PS I'm going to the Mills and Boon Author Lunch in London on Friday and can't wait! Will tell you all about it next week. Also hoping a friend of mine will share some good news!