Friday, 22 June 2012

Beginnings, Middles or Endings??

What's your favourite part of writing a book?  Is it the beginning - where everything is new and fresh and there is a whole world of opportunities?  Is it the middle where things are tying together, you have two fully-fledged characters that feel real?  Or is it the end - the happy ever after - the bit everyone is waiting for?
Or maybe you're a little bit bad.  And your favourite part is the big Black Moment.  That horrible bit of the book where it seems as if there is no return??

I'm in a happy place.  Last night I started a new book.  And you might have guessed it but my favourite part of the book is the beginning.  I love the ideas, the potential developments, the little sentences you drop in that let the reader know there is something in this characters back story that will stop his or her path to a straightforward happy ever after.

I also love the drama.  Starting in the middle of something.  And not always with the two main characters on the page.  My first book It Started with a Pregnancy, began with my hero and heroine meeting in a bar and a night of passion followed.  Not the most unusual start.  But I learned from this.  And I developed.

My second story had drama.  The Boy who Made Them Love Again started with my hero pulling up outside a small hospital with the First Lady in premature labour in the back of the car!  He comes face to face with the woman he walked away from five years earlier and so the drama continues.

My third book was a follow up - still using the President and First Lady.  In this one my heroine turns up at the police cordon, heavily pregnant and trying to reach the doctor that's looking after the President's premature daughter.  She promptly collapses and is taken inside to meet her ex - the hero - and the only man she can trust to rescue her much-wanted child.  Sigh.  I love a bit of drama.

Book four, A Bond Between Strangers, starts with my hero receiving a letter telling him there has been an IVF mix up.  The embryos that had been created for him and his wife (with his sperm and a donors egg) and were due to be destroyed, have been mistakenly implanted in someone else.  His wife is long gone - but this is his baby - and all he's ever wanted is a family.  Someone else is carrying his child.  And he wants it.

Book five is the christmas story.  Her Christmas Eve Diamond starts with my heroine going to get her fortune told with her friends.  She doesn't believe in all that and is less than impressed when the fortune teller predicts she will be a Christmas bride.  It's August and she doesn't even have a boyfriend.  What's more she's vowed her next man will be a fellow Scot, but the fortune teller has other things in mind.....

Book six is the cruise ship story.  An Inescapable Temptation.  This one starts with the hero jumping in to rescue a child in Venice harbour.  He gets knocked out and my heroine ends up resuscitating him!

As for Book Seven????  Well, I'm not going to give too much away.  But again there is drama.  My study currently has a very important algorithm for a certain disease pinned on my wall.  Something big is going to happen in Chicago - something very big!

So, you can see a pattern forming here.  It's a bit worrying to be honest.  Apart from my first story, do I know how to write a story with a quiet build up?  I try not to do the backstory dump thing, and I do always try to start in the middle of the action.

What's interesting is that the middle of the action doesn't always have the hero and heroine on the first page.  It was one of the things I noticed about the New Voices contest.  I wanted to see the hero and heroine together straight away and yet I don't always do it myself.  Granted, it happens within a couple of pages, but maybe I still have a few things to learn.

So what's your favourite part?  Are you all about the middle and the developing characters?  Are you a wrung-out sort of person and all about the Black Moment?  Or, are you hearts and roses and all about the Happy Ever After?  Or are you like me, all about drama and all about beginnings?


  1. Hi Scarlet! I like the start too and the ending! The worst bit for me is the third quarter where I feel like I've done tons but the end isn't yet in sight. And I definitely have more ideas from the outset for the beginning and ending - the middle comes to me more as I go along.

    I'm just starting a new story too, wondering if I will have all the ideas I need and whether it will be good enough!

    Look forward to hearing how yours progresses :0)

  2. Well, I used to be a beginnings girl. Loved the new idea, the new people, the meet cute. And then suddenly beginnings got harder and harder. Now I hate them! Lol! I prefer the middle where I've got to know the characters more and I can start uncovering the real conflict. I also LOVE the black moment. Because I love drama too - not so much external drama as internal drama. Bring on the angst!! I also hate endings and I suck at them. Mainly because I don't like writing all the cheese. Hehe. Gonna have to get over the one though...

  3. Hi Charlotte, good luck with your new beginning! I try to avoid the saggy middles but sometimes they just creep up on you. I'm trying to race ahead with this story and get a partial into my editor before I go on holiday next week. Have you got a date for your debut release yet?

  4. Jackie why am I not surprised you like the black moment! And you're right about the end, at times it does feel a little cheesy, tying up all the loose ends to make a happy ever after. But that's what e readers want, so that's what we give them. Can't wait to party for your release!

  5. Hi Scarlet, for me it's the beginning. That blank page is so full of possibilities and my writing hasn't all gone horribly wrong yet. I also like the end when finally, it all comes together. The bit I have a struggle with is the middle where everything gets terribly complicated and has to be resolved. It's all good fun though, especially when with a sigh you write THE END!

  6. Do you write The End cara? I'm curious, because I've never done it. Love your comment about the writing not going horribly wrong yet! I totally relate!

  7. Endings for me! Gives me such a satisfying feeling...