Yesterday I felt like kicking myself in the head, a quick check with my insurance agent informed me that I am not covered for that so I decided against that plan.
What made me feel like inflicting more pain on myself was seeing an obvious problem with my first chapter of my latest book, MIND THIEF.
I had the problem that I was introducing the two main characters in the very beginning, and was looking for ways to quickly unfold their characters which is not my strength. I've been told by a lot of editors that I don't write sympathetic characters, and these two are no exception.
I looked at examples from romance novels to try and get it right and although it helped I had to worry about the problem that I might actually get it right. If I did get that right my audience would be the women who consider TRUE ROMANCE and NATURAL BORN KILLERS to be light romantic comedies. Not a huge audience.
So then I ran across some advice I had given on this site:
RULE #1: The story comes first.
RULE #2: The story comes first.
RULE #3: If in doubt refer to Rules 1 and 2.
With that in mind I wrote a few paragraphs that show what my main character has to deal with throughout the book.
Howie put his left hand on the door handle to the office and couldn't help but be impressed, it was made of solid aluminum. “Even with the drop in price for Aluminum it still must have cost a pretty penny,” he thought.
He looked down and noticed his lack of shadow, surprised he looked to see how they had arranged the Edison Bulbs to create that effect. He was amazed to see that the hallway was lit by large mercury vapor lamps in the ceiling that must have cost a fortune.
He took a deep breath and looked back at the very common door handle and wondered why he thought aluminum was a semi-precious metal and how he could be surprised by cheap florescent lights. “Just one more thing to talk to the doc about,” he thought.
*****Hopefully this new opening will make the reader want to know more about the weird thoughts that are going through Howie's mind so they will stick with me long enough to have the story play out. It also brings it out of the romance area so the murders, tortures, and leaving of “Love Stains” in the bad guy's car aren't as much of a shock to the readers.
By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE