Hello, gentle readers! Hope you are all well and staying safe!
So, today, we’re going to discuss the parts of a novel—the easy and the not so easy. There’s the beginning, the middle, the end, the synopsis, the blurb…and the first love scene (if your story has one. Some don’t.).
Let me explain.
Starting a new story is wonderful. You’re excited. You’re happy because it’s something new. You have your basic storyline and maybe an outline (I do plot points. Others write by the seat of their pants). You get to introduce your hero and heroine, who they are, what they’re all about. I love this part. It’s fun getting to name your characters and build their traits and foibles. You feed in some of their past and where they are now. As I said, it’s exciting and sets up your story.
Then there’s the sagging middle. I call it that because the enthusiasm for the beginning has waned a little. It’s usually at this point that my brain betrays me and thoughts of “this is boring” or “why did I ever think I could do this” start cascading through my head. It takes patience and perseverance to get through this part (I’m certain other authors do not have this problem, but I seem to with every story I write).
I love writing the end. At a certain point, you find yourself on that downward slope. There’s no turning back now. You find yourself (or at least I do), writing faster and faster, rushing (not blindly though) to reach that happily ever after. You may cry as you write ‘The End’ or celebrate with a piece of chocolate or two.
Let’s talk a little about your synopsis (or as I call it ‘the dreaded’ synopsis). If you plan to submit your work to a publisher or agent, you must have one. Depending on who you are submitting to, the synopsis needs to be two pages or five pages or anywhere in between. I find it incredibly difficult to condense my ninety-five-thousand-word story into two or three or five pages.
Then there is the blurb, the short description on the back of the book that makes a reader look at it to begin with. It must be enticing with just enough information to interest the reader. This can be incredibly difficult for some (re: me), but really easy for others.
But I want to go back to the love scene, which is where I am right now in my story. I have read authors who simply blow me away with how their loves scenes are written and they make it seem so easy.
It isn’t. In fact, it’s darned hard (unless you’re lucky enough to have your characters do all the hard work…sometimes that happens and I love it when it does!). There are so many questions, so many possibilities for that first time your hero and heroine make love. Should their coming together be slow and sensual? Hot and urgent? Both? What about clothes? Are they wearing any or does each character need to be undressed? Who does the undressing? If the scene is hot and urgent, then they should both be ripping each other’s clothes off, right? Or is a tantalizing dance as one article of clothing is removed at a time? Are they talking to each other? What are they saying?
It all needs to be choreographed in such a way that the reader is there, seeing everything, feeling everything. And it needs to be satisfying to everyone—the hero, the heroine, the author, but most especially you, the reader.
So why do we do it if it’s hard? For me, it’s a need. I have to write (even if no one ever sees it). Despite the frustration, despite the tears, I have a story to tell and quite frankly, I am not the same person when I don’t have a story in progress.
And that’s all for me. I should go and tackle that love scene now.
Stay well! Stay safe! And remember to spread kindness wherever you go!