If Spring were a color what color do you think it would be?
Green! Well, that’s what I think. Fall used to be my favorite time of year, but as I get older, spring has leaped into that favorite spot. I love the smell of spring. I love the crispness of the air, the budding and then flowering of the trees, the smell of folks cutting their grass. So much to love about spring.
But my favorite thing about the new season of spring is the promise of new beginnings. We’ve spent the winter, at least in Georgia, in some cold weather, dreary rainy days, cloudy days. A season of nurturing in some ways, and a season of anticipation in other ways.
Kind of like relationships, right? I love reading romance because of the promise of new relationships. We’ve talked before about beginnings, middles and endings as far as which is our favorite. Mine hands down is beginnings. As I writer that can be dangerous. I’m not sure how many books I’ve started—and still have only the beginnings. Not to say I won’t go back to them, but it’s a dangerous place for a gal like me.
Last month we talked about first lines, so it seemed logical to transition into beginnings. As a writer beginnings are super important. Not only in engaging the reader, but in setting up plot points and expectations. In romance we know there will be a happy ending, but it’s the journey there that holds the reader’s attention.
Writing secret! For me, I’m linear. I see the story in a horizontal line. I may know the ending in my mind, but I can’t imagine writing scenes out of order. What keeps me on track the best is a device called the ticking time bomb. An event that you read about at the beginning of the story and usually happens at the end. This keeps me on track in many ways. With passing time, with an external plot. A party can be a ticking time bomb, a deadline, a wedding, anything that has a specific time and intertwines with the characters story and emotional journey.
Another aspect about beginnings is the cute-meet. Whether it’s a reunion story or a brand new romance, I love the first meet up. One of my favorite parts of writing the book is thinking up the cute meet.
Then comes the initial conflict. Yikes! What is going to keep these two apart? Emotionally and plot wise. How can these two possibly end up together? Another writing secret! If a conversation can clear up a misunderstanding, back to the drawing board–new or additional conflict needed.
So many things to think about when preparing the beginning of the book. But I love it! As a writer and a reader. What are your favorite aspects of the beginning of the book? The conflict? The cute-meet? Something else? We’d love to hear them and talk about them.
I love spring too only 5 and a half months away! I had a day trip to the city for Migraine treatment (leave at 7am get back around 5pm or later long day and exhausting). In the hills you can see the trees changing colours and I do love that. But I realised the Aussie native trees don’t change colour. most of the trip you see the native trees along the road and in the bush areas and there are lots of shades of green but they are not changing colour.
What do I like about a new book I like getting to know a new scenario and the new characters and even location. And if its a series I like to see whats happening next.
Belinda S Peterson says
Ausjenny—Hi! Oh, yes, you are opposite seasons from us. I pray your migraine treatments are working–and that’s a long day for sure!
And yes–I too love seeing new scenarios and being introduced to new characters in the beginning of the book.
Mary Preston says
At the beginning I want to feel like I have stepped into a world I want to explore. With characters that fascinate.
Belinda S Peterson says
Mary—love those expectations!!
If spring were a color to me, it would be pink. I like the initial meeting (or explanation of how the characters know each other) in the beginning. I also like something that makes me relate to the heroine.
Belinda S Peterson says
Pink is a great spring color–reminds me of azaleas—here in Georgia they are one of the first plants to bloom. They’re beautiful!! And yes for the cute-meet. :)
Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says
Spring is lavender to me. The crocus remind me of Jesus Resurrection.
Lucy–what a great association to make with the color lavender. And the resurrection of Jesus is a new beginning for us all.
Spring is heat to this FL girl! We’re expecting a record high of 90 today, so I’d really like winter back!!! I like the beginning of the book to draw me in, doesn’t have to conflict or the cute meet, it could be just setting the stage.
Trudy–I know! We have had 70’s already in Georgia, so I can imagine you guys are just hot down in Florida—stay cool, girl!!
I do like setting the stage as well. :)
I like a good first line, something that draws you in. Usually its a situation the characters in where you just have to find out what’s going on or how they’ll get out of it.
Megan—a good first line. :) And since we know romance novels have happy endings, it’s the journey of how they’ll get there for sure.
The cute-meet is definitely the highlight for me! I have read some really funny ones, I’ve read ones where one of the characters gets caught in an awkward moment, I’ve read ones where sparks fly because the H/H don’t get along (witty or sarcastic banter), etc.
I think for me though, it’s a good beginning that draws me into the story…something that makes me keep turning the pages because I need to find out what happens next or makes me ask the question “how is this going to get resolved”. That always sets the stage for how I’ll like or dislike the book :-)
Alicia Haney says
Hi, I love Spring also, I love all the plants coming back from being dormant. I love it when bulbs start popping up and flowering. In winter I love the pansy’s it will snow on them and after the snow melts they keep on blooming , they don’t like the heat at all though, so that’s when I love to plant petunias for the summer. In a story I love the plot and where it leads me to what the story is going to be about, I love twists and turns and surprises. Have a great weekend and stay safe. I enjoyed reading your post , Thank you.
Definitely green for Spring but the flower colors are important, too. I love stepping out onto our small porch, the sun shining brightly, a crisp breeze to answer the warmth of the sun and a profusion of crocuses greeting me across our entire front yard.
The question of beginnings for a romance has been a challenging one. I like to escape into a story, so how it is built and what I expect to see often go right over my head. I can say that I like to be immersed. Give me a relatable circumstance or character with a positive bent that welcomes me in and I am happy. Difficult circumstances are OK. I like underdog stories. The meeting (is it cute-meet or meet-cute? I’ve seen both so it’s kind of confusing) I prefer not to be awkward. Kind, curious, even upset are all fine. Embarrassing usually just makes me cringe.
love a fun meet-cute.
SARAH TAYLOR says
I Love Spring and the color for me would be a lavender with all the beautiful Lilac bushes and they smell amazing And I must say Spring is in The Air Saturday is the first day of Spring for us ! Love the cute-meet.
Natalya Lakhno says
The cute-meet…and make it funny ;)