All right guys and gals. My mind is spinning over a big dilemma. You see, my upcoming book doesn’t start with my hero or heroine. My editor and I are both torn over this opening, but she said it was so well written that she hated me not using it, or something like that.
It’s emotional and has a lot of impact, but it’s from another character in my series—a special and important character who is in all the books in the series—
This is my hero’s story. He appears immediately in the opening, so we do get to see and hear what he has to say about what is coming in his life. But, the emotional aspect of the person telling this, also shows a lot of insight into the hero’s character—through her eyes.
I took this question to Facebook and received interesting responses. It seems none of them cared if the story didn’t start with the hero or heroine. My hero’s POV comes in on page five so it isn’t like it takes long to get into his head. But, we’re talking about the opening to a book that only has seconds to grab a reader.
I’m sure my series readers will love the opening because by now they know the characters. After all, this is the fourth book in the series and we’ve all become quite attached. Yes, including me! I love my characters and their stories.
Of course the beginning is important in any book, but Romance is different. The story is about the two main characters. Two or more, depending on what you write of course. I’ve never written more than two character POVs. Well, I shouldn’t say never, because I don’t know what I did before I knew what I was doing. Ask my first editor.
As a matter of fact, this character gets a POV spot two other times in this story. I’m not worried about those other two spots.
Some suggestions I had from Facebook:
- Make it a prologue. Well, this doesn’t exactly fit the criteria for a prologue. Sure, it’s a different character, but the main character is right there too. In book time, it’s only a few hours until his POV shows up.
- Another suggestion was to call it an Introduction. I loved the idea, but some people don’t read introductions (or prologues), and when a reader reads a sample on Amazon or the other retailers, it would probably begin with Chapter One. Therefore, the reader would have to scroll back to see an Introduction. Don’t quote me on that. 🙂 I’ve seen “Look Inside the Book” open to Chapter One and at times open to the Copyright page. I think it has something to do with the formatting.
- One more comment mentioned writing the character’s name as a subheading. I did this in my manuscript and I’ll see what my editor says, although she read the Facebook responses. New readers won’t have a clue who this character is, though. Books don’t always get read in order.
- Others said, “Go for it.”
- Some said, “I see nothing wrong with it.
- Another said, “It’s great to see how others in the book think and feel.
Cover. Blurb. Title.
It’s my thought that my cover, blurb, and title all say who the book is about? By the way, you’ll see the cover soon unless you’re a mailing list subscriber who already did. 😉
So this is my dilemma. Give up an emotional scene that still shows a bit about my hero, or jump into page five and make it the beginning, and delete the beginning.
What am I asking of you? *Shrugging*
- Maybe I’m thinking out loud through my blog.
- Maybe to see what you, my blog readers have to say about this?
- Or, hoping that if I think about this long enough, my solution will magically come to me.
In the meantime, my manuscript is about to be sent back to my editor, and I will continue to lose sleep until the decision feels right in my head. Actually, the beginning does feel right to me, but I want to please readers and make it the best it can be for them, too.
Wish me luck!
In the mean time, I won’t be doing this:
But, I might be doing this:
and this Thanks for letting me think out loud as I talk to you here.
Have an enjoyable day! Come back and visit y’all.
Source originally posted to Flickr as Cannolo Siciliano