STARTING OFF ON THE “WRITE” FOOT
by Kristin Miller
Thank you for having me today! I’m thrilled to be here.
Beginning a story is often the hardest part of the writing process. How do I get that first line right? How do I make sure the characters are connected, the setting is visceral and integral to the story, the motivations are strong, etc. There’s too much pressure. I have performance anxiety simply thinking about it.
First, I think writers have to determine what kind of a story they’re writing. Is it erotic? Start with sex—preferably bad sex so you can watch the transformation to sizzling sex on the page. Is the book paranormal or urban fantasy? Start with action. Show the world. Is it contemporary? Start with something sweet. Funny. A character doing something out of character. Is it historical? Root me in the world, but don’t start with scenery or weather. (Oh the rules! The tropes! The clichés! We hate, yet love them all, don’t we?)
In Forbidden by Fate, I originally started the paranormal/fantasy novella with Sasha, werewolf and heir to the Were throne, talking with her father (the Alpha) and the rest of the pack. While the scene remains in the first chapter, I realized that’s not how the beginning should be.
Sasha has had one major love in her life—Damon, a dragon shifter she’s forbidden to see. She’s loved him for years, never forgetting his touch, the heat in his eyes, or the passion they shared.
What better way to start than in Sasha’s head? In a daydream where Damon comes for her, flying across the Feralon skies, right to Were mountain, her home. From the first page, the reader gets to experience Damon and Sasha’s chemistry. It’s not a memory or backstory. It’s “real”. When Sasha’s father calls her into his den to be part of pack meeting, readers should feel as pulled away from their secret moment as Sasha does.
While writers start books in different places, there are always beginnings we never forget. I would wager these beginnings pull readers in because they start at the moment of change, a place that sets the tone for the book, or a place that shocks us into submission.
I remember the beginning of Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier with crystal clarity: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Immediately, I’m swept away, lost in Manderley and Mr. and Mrs. DeWinter’s lives.
What beginnings do you remember?
Kristin Miller has had a passion for language and literature her whole life. Born and raised in Small Town USA, she often made up stories about faraway places and edge-of-your-seat adventures.
After graduating from Humboldt State University with a degree in psychology, Kristin realized there is no scarier place than the warped human psyche. Wanting to combine her love of writing with her desire to paint twisted villains, Kristin wound up in the unlikeliest of places—the classroom. She taught high school and middle school English before giving in to the desire to create her own world, where villains can be sympathetic and heroes can be devilishly good.
She is represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates Ltd. and writes dark paranormal romances and toe curling romantic suspense.
July 1st 2012 by Harlequin Cravings
A forbidden love……
A second chance……
A night of passion neither will forget.
Sasha, a love-thirsty werewolf and rightful heir to the Were throne, is ready to take control over her pack. But when her first love, dragon shifter Damon Frost, lands on her doorstep, demanding their races negotiate ownership over Feralon’’s hot springs, he makes her question more than the fight for the enchanted neutral ground. No matter the emotions bubbling inside her, Sasha can’’t become involved with Damon. Not now. Not ever again.
Forbidden to step foot onto Were land after a romp with the Alpha’’s daughter as a teenager, Damon has bided his time, waiting for the day when he’’d be accepted back onto Were land. Using the hot spring negotiation as a way to get closer to Sasha, Damon plans to use every minute alone to remind her of the passion they shared–—a passion they could ignite again.
One night of ecstasy stands between them and the fight for the springs. One night of revealing glances, skin searing chemistry, and erotic desires they’’d long buried.
Will one taste of forbidden love be enough to satiate their desires? Or will the need to explore the depths of their love unleash a Were-Draco war?
INT- Ends July 20th
Two random commenters from the tour will win their choice of either a Kindle or Nook format eBook of Forbidden by Fate OR a Kindle or Nook format eBook of Claimed by Desire, the first novella in the Isle of Feralon series. Please leave a comment along with your broken up email addy. Winner will be randomly selected and notified via email.