September 28, 2007 at 2:11 pm 12 comments

I started to write IT TAKES A THIEF, I had about a paragraph, and then I stopped writing. The story didn’t have the crunch that would keep me interested. I still love the idea of an ex-thief having to confront her ex-boyfriend who is still a thief. One of these days that story will get more crunch and I’ll write it.

But then I was sitting on my couch thinking of this one story I started two years ago, about a woman who goes back home after 12 years to face her mother, and to find out why she wants to sell the family home. Of course, when she left the town she also left an ex-boyfriend. But that isn’t what made me want to write the story. This is the first line.

Half down the driveway to the home she grew up in Megan said to her assistant manager, “Think Mommie Dearest minus the wire hanger.”

I want to know what else she will be provoked to say making it hard for the writer in me to say no to this character. It was her turn to show up and live in my head for a time to get her story on the page. I’ll try my best to not name her mother Joan, but who is to say my heroine won’t slip every now and then.

So if you don’t hear from me for a while . . .


Entry filed under: characterization, first lines, new books.


12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alyssa Goodnight  |  September 28, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Ahhh…the Jenny Crusie ‘crunch’. Such a great term, isn’t it? I don’t even know if she came up with it, but I attribute it to her.

  • 2. Allie Boniface  |  September 28, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    It’s interesting when characters just plant themselves on your shoulder and demand your attention, isn’t it??

  • 3. Mel  |  September 28, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Alyssa-An author getting The Crusie Crunch from a story has gotten many of novels written.

  • 4. Mel  |  September 28, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Allie- Yes it is interesting. I know for me at first all I can see is the little glimer of character and then I can hear them say something. In the first draft dialogue starts all my books, because I don’t know the character until I hear them talk.

  • 5. Carleen Brice  |  September 29, 2007 at 2:42 am

    Dang, girl, you sure know how to get my attention! First time visitor and your title picture is worth the visit! 🙂

  • 6. Mel  |  September 29, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Sadly, I’ve forgotten he was there. Takes for reminding me of that beautiful eye candy. A friend of mine sent me a handful of pictures like this and I drooled for a hour over all of them. But he won the prize. He has to be the towel. I want the towel to fall. All would be right in my world if the towel would fall.

  • 7. Kate Diamond  |  September 30, 2007 at 1:39 am

    “Crunch!” Love it. And great opener. Definitely packs a punch, and hooks us in to the character.

  • 8. Patricia W.  |  September 30, 2007 at 3:47 am

    I like that “crunch” term. Some story ideas have it. Alas, others don’t (at least not yet).

    Now the Mommie Dearest thing? That character is interesting.

  • 9. raine  |  September 30, 2007 at 4:03 am

    Have fun, and watch those hangers!

  • 10. Mel  |  September 30, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Hell, Kate, it hooked me as the writer. I now want to know who this woman is, and why would she described her mother in such a way. Easily she could have said, my mother is cold, and/or crazy. To be honest I would have gone on to another story if she had, but this characters seems to have snark. I love snark and for me it makes me interested to find the character’s vulnerability.

  • 11. Mel  |  September 30, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Patricia- Crunch is a good word to describe why a writer is more willing to write a story. It’s degrees from “Bleah” or “I’m in over my head.”

    Crunch leaves you intrigued.

  • 12. Mel  |  September 30, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Raine-“NO WIRE HANGERS!”

    Lol, I will. If for no other reason to see if the mother is as bad as the character think she is.

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