Beginnings. I know so many writers that love beginnings. They love them so much they have drawers (really files since most of us don’t keep our writing in actual drawers) full of story beginnings. It’s nothing for them to whip up a new proposal and send it off to their editor or agent. They love the excitement, the freshness, the limitless possibilities. Me? Not so much. And that’s really putting it mildly. I hate beginnings.
It’s not that I don’t love all the possibilities, that’s great, wonderful, even. I mean that’s why brainstorming can get a bit addictive. I get the whole newness thing, I can see where they’re coming from, but I can’t feel it. Getting and shaping the idea is one thing, but when it comes to the actual writing, I’m a bundle of nerves. Well, I’m nervous and stressed pretty much the whole time I’m writing, but the beginning, especially. (And the ending, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog) The way I look at it, I’ve got a blank canvas with two people I don’t know at all (regardless of how many things I know about them, it’s way different once you let them loose on paper), a setting I’m unfamiliar with, details I haven’t quite worked out, I’m basically in uncharted territory. For some this might be exciting. For me, it’s terrifying. Frankly it’s like wading through molasses.
There’s all this pressure. All these elements that need to be seamlessly woven into the fabric of the opening chapters. Character GMC, enough backstory without it being too much, sexual tension….I could go on. Pressure, I tell you! It’s enough to make a poor introverted writer blow her top. But I’m keeping my cool. Because I know the good stuff is coming. The middle. It’s just right around the corner – somewhere after chapter 5 or so.
I’m one of those strange writers who loves *gasp* the sagging middle. It’s not so sagging from where I sit. It’s the fun part. It’s the part where I know what I’m doing. I’ve gotten the rhythm of the characters down, I know where the storyline is going, and the conflict is really rising. Talk about limitless possibilities. This is the stage where a lot of writers get bored, which just has me scratching my head. All the stuff you’ve been setting up in the beginning is actually happening in the middle, that’s cool.
But back to the beginning, which is where I am with my current book. But I suspect most of you are here on this blog looking for tidbits about my new book that’s in stores. TREASURE ME is the final book in my Legend Hunters trilogy and I finished it so long ago I don’t even remember if the beginning was hard (though I’m guessing it was!) hopefully though it reads easy.
Take a look and see what you think. Then leave me a comment and you just might win a signed copy of DESIRE ME, the second book in the Legend Hunters series. If you’re a writer, tell me your least favorite and favorite part of writing and if you’re a reader let me know if you enjoy these inside peeks into a writer’s life.
Loch Ness Scotland, 1881
Thunder crashed and fat, heavy rain drops pelted Graeme Langford as he plunged the oars into the cold, murky depths of Loch Ness. The muscles in his arms burned from rowing, and despite the chill in the air, sweat beaded down his back. The storm made the loch choppy and his trek more difficult. Still he rowed.
Through the sheets of rain, he could see the rocky beach ahead in the distance and the hills that rose behind the shore. Somewhere in those hills, he’d find the abbey. A foolish wealthy American had recently purchased the crumbling estate and intended to restore it to its former glory. They were supposed to start construction next week so Graeme had to hurry and find what he sought before it was too late.
The small boat rocked against the angry waves, and Graeme fought against the current. His progress was slow, and he was damp to his bones. The newly formed blisters on his palms ached. Eventually he made his way to the beach. He jumped out and pulled the boat onto the shore, cursing his aching muscles. Clearly life in London was making him soft.
The last ribbons of light were partially hidden behind the storm clouds, compromising his visibility greatly. But he’d climbed enough hills throughout Scotland to know that he would be able to traverse these in limited light. He secured his bag across his body and started up into the hills. The highlands weren’t mountains; he’d seen true mountains in Spain. Still the rocky hillsides were treacherous on their own account so he minded his steps carefully. The rain slowed, and the thunder softened as the storm faded into the distance.
The crisp autumn air filled Graeme’s lungs as he climbed up the hill. As raw and untamed as parts of Scotland remained, he loved this land. Loved the history and the rough terrain, loved the people and their lore. Half of him rightfully belonged here, his mother’s blood, but it was his father’s English blood that ruled his life. Four years earlier, when his father had fallen ill and died, Graeme had taken his place as the Duke of Rothmore. And he did his duty as an English lord, though he longed for time to spend in his beloved Scotland.
The pull from his Scottish heritage was what drove his quest, his burning desire to find and restore what rightfully belonged to Scotland–The Stone of Destiny, a biblical relic that held mysterious powers. It had belonged to the Scottish monarchy for hundreds of years before it had been stolen by the English. Or so everyone had thought. Graeme had recently come to believe that the stone taken by the English was counterfeit. He intended to be the one to locate the original stone.
According to his latest research, there was a book that he needed to complete his quest. And it lay somewhere within the dilapidated walls of this old abandoned abbey.
As if his mind had conjured the image, a massive stone building suddenly lay before him, nestled into the next hill. Arches towered over crumbling stone, like the ribs of some enormous animal picked clean by vultures. Only the building at the main entrance remained. Graeme stepped through an opening in the wall that had once protected the monks. Graeme was not alone as he’d expected. The workers for the reconstruction were already here, or at least their equipment was, as it littered the hillside. They were early, which meant that he just might be too late.
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