I share a full scene that didn’t make it into the finished novel: The Bride Lottery. I’ll explain why this scene was cut from the final version during editing.
Question: How do authors determine where to begin the story?
Answer: I imagine in a group of five authors, you’d obtain at least 2 different answers. How’s that for ambiguous?
Every writer has developed their own methods that work for them. We’re all different, as unique as our fingerprints. My method of ensuring my books start at the right place may be quite different from someone else’s methods and that’s perfectly OK. My answer to this question: “As late as possible.”
This means I skip as much back story as possible– details that don’t really matter for the crux of the story yet it still makes sense. We dive right into action. It’s the latest possible moment when that “something” happens and everything changes.
Inside, I share a full, polished opening scene (not published in The Bride Lottery), deleted when I realized in the final drafts that the story was beginning too early.
One of my favorite sources of inspiration is antique photographs. Who were these people? The possibilities seem endless. The images are unlabelled without so much as a year or a photographic studio imprint. That’s where imagination must take over.