Sunday, January 13, 2013

But what comes next?

The most difficult part of writing a novel is getting started. In the beginning, I labor over the scenes.  Sometimes they write themselves, but many times I step back and consider what I am trying to do.  This beginning process makes for much of my early writing to be out of sequence as I come back and fill in scene gaps.

Right now I am in a scene with my protagonist, Alan, whose just entered a bakery where he meets the rather attractive owner, Amelia. They hit it off almost immediately.  Friendly chitchat. The chemistry is just right.  He came in to buy some bread, but she’s going to slip some hot cross buns in his bag. The scene is absolutely delightful, except nothing is happening. 

If she hated his guts on first sight, that would be interesting. Perhaps, her boyfriend arrives and demands they duke it out.  Or perhaps his ex-wife arrives, and she and Amelia have a cat fight. Or …you get the pictures. Something has to happen.

So I ponder the scene and think where this is going.  What will rivet the audience to their chairs while turning pages? What will make them keep reading chapter after chapter? This is the part of writing that’s called being creative.

As my old boss would say, “If this were easy, everyone would be doing it.”

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