Spring is the time of year when the sap rises, the birds and bees get busy and maybe, just maybe, with the lengthening days, that neglected New Year resolution about writing a book — starting is just so hard — could be shaken out and given an airing.
So where do you begin a story? With the three big Cs.
You have an idea, but an idea isn’t a plot. A plot requires conflict, a conflict big enough to carry a book anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 words. That’s not going to be something that could be cleared up if the two people involved sat down and actually talked things through. (Obviously, you can never let them have that conversation, but even so…) Imagine your heroine has a life or death goal and the hero is an immovable object blocking the way.
Which segues very neatly to the next big C – character. To have any kind of conflict you need protagonist and an antagonist. A heroine and a hero if you’re writing a traditional romance. Two people with opposing goals. (Or maybe, as in Ally Blake’s brilliant The Secret Wedding Dress, two people with exactly the same goal – except that, as their relationship grows, the goal posts shift).
Finally, once you have a conflict and the characters to battle it out, you need a crucible – a container that can withstand temperatures high enough to melt or otherwise alter its contents. A device, such as a journey, or house, or a problem they are both involved with, which will hold your characters together and change them forever.
Liz has written more than 60 romances. To find out how she does it, download her Little Book of Writing Romance from any eBook retailer. For more information and to check out her latest releases surf to http://www.lizfielding.com