How to start a romantic story?

discussion

#41

Oh, so openings to show your character?


#42

Here’s my opening:

No amount of coffee in the world could perk up Ada Sinclair that night. She had a single customer at the moment and already accomplished every single task on her list and then some. Ada’s green eyes remained on the clock above the door that may very well have been moving backwards. She dropped her chin to her hand as she slouched against the counter, willing time to start speeding the hell up.

Work rarely bothered her. Normally the shop had enough hustle and bustle to make time fly by. And with the shop belonging to her godmother, she was treated well. Tonight, however, the towns surrounding Ridgewood all seemed to have events going on, stealing away the attention of most of her customers and leaving Ada bored to tears.

The only customer at the moment was ‘Creeper’, the one customer she would have been a-okay with not being there. He was a forty-year-old man child who she guessed still lived with his mom. Ada still hadn’t figured out if he was a Boo Radley or a Norman Bates. Any time he came in, he spent the entire time staring at Ada. Because of this, everyone who worked there reffered to him as ‘Creeper’.

When the bell chimed behind her, Ada swooped around to see Mr. Bennet, her favorite teacher and unreformed coffee addict, walk through the door.

A sigh of relief escaped her lips. “Welcome to Crystal’s Coffee Shop,” she sang out to him with as much energy as she could muster.

Crystal recommended they say the greeting to each customer who walked in. They did it far less with regulars as it seemed less personal. With Mr. B, it was just amusing.

“Thank you. I feel welcome,” he replied as he always did, flashing her a smile as he spoke. Mr. B rubbed at his sandy brown beard, which had the slightest tint of red to it compared to the rest of his hair and was a sandy brown and peppered slightly with grays.

Ada’s curiosity about the beard had long since faded. He’d been clean cut throughout all of her high school career until about two months ago. First it was a scruff and was now taking over half his face. At this point she only noticed it when Mr. B rubbed or scratched or picked something out of it.


#43

yup…


#44

wow
so you write in third person p.o.v. have you ever tried the first person?


#45

I wrote in first for twenty years. This actually my first time successfully writing in third and I love it.


#46

Oh wow thts like amaingggg


#47

I would up opening mine with a brutal kidnapping and beating, but most of my stories open with a bang and launch the reader directly into the fray. I’m not one for building up slowly, but that’s just personal preference.


#48

wells thats just soodifferent… nieee


#49

lol probably not that different or unique, but it fit for how the story needed to kick off


#50

An advice I would have is not to use anything that’s cliché. Have it feel natural. To start it off, you might want to consider deeper insight into the protagonist. Depending on the plot of your story this can take many different turns.

A school theme story.

Avoid, bumping into someone I would advise. I don’t even care if it’s detention, just make it believable. Avoid cluttered buses, trains, etc. You can probably have them meet at the school gate out of some conflict that happened.(Never wrote a school themed story, but you get the idea, just make sure there is a credible conflict).

Adventure themed story.

Please avoid chosen ones, guardian, and so on. I would advise that. They are kinda overused. If the characters are to meet, they need a standard point. Some conflict that happens to have them work together. This is just the starting point.

I think you understand enough. Personally what I would do is to avoid the whole meeting scenario. If I can of course, unless you write multiple books and need a point to explain that. If anything as well, try and make the communication natural. Even after they have established a deeper bond.

Now romance ain’t my thing, but even I had to learn to write it to make a story even better. Just trust your instincts if anything.


#51

I tried off and on for a lot of years to write in third, but couldn’t get it to stick. I just kept switching over to first. This is the first time third person has worked out and I noticed my biggest writing weakness, which was over narration, was so much more controllable.


#52

Even in a general, simple story, something has changed. Something makes today different from every other day. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be the start of a story.

Since we’re talking about book openings where someone walks into a coffee shop, you can very easily start that story right after the big thing happened. It’s just the definition of “big thing” changes based on the type of story you’re writing. Maybe that “big thing” was simply the character’s decision that today, instead of going to Starbucks, they were going to go into the little artisan coffee shop with the cute girl at the counter. Why? Well, that’s the decision as the writer you have to make, but there should be a reason. Maybe they just got news about a family member. Maybe they just broke up with their girlfriend. At any rate, something has changed. Something is different. And that’s what launches the story.

It’s the thing that has changed you need to think about, and make sure that has happened just before you start writing. If the opening is simply a familiar day to the character, there’s no drive for the reader to keep reading.


#53

When I’m plotting and outlining, I make sure that romance is the second thing on the list. My character has a life they’re living, and romance ends up in it. I give them a goal and one of their obstacles is usual because of the love interest. Once we reach the midpoint shift where the main character goes from reaction to action, romance becomes the goal.

So, obviously, opening the romance is usually about this character making a decision that makes them bump into their one true love. I write shorter fiction, so it’s usually pretty early on that they meet and make googoo eyes, but it could easily happen as late as just before the midpoint shift.

To answer the question, give the character a life. Start at midday. Or nighttime. Start from the eyes of a cat. Don’t make romance the first thing that happens unless it’s absolutely necessary.

In my opinion anyway. (WRITING RULES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN :smirk: )