Wednesday, July 31

Share Your Beginning

A new book is like a new day - filled with possibility.

I love the beginnings of books - my own and other writer's. I like them to be eerie or funny, sweet or sad. I guess you could say I like all of them. Because the beginning of a new book has such promise. There are 300 pages just waiting for us to read and enjoy or, when it's our own beginning, 300 pages to cry over. Start and stop and start again.

While the starting and the stopping sometimes makes me crazy, I can't stop doing it.

I started a new project recently, something I really, really love but the beginning has been...a little torturous. I finally think I got the beginning right, though. So, I thought I'd share -

Lissa looked down, into a face so similar to her own she might as well have looked into a mirror.
"I know it's hard, Miss Franklin, but there has been no brain activity in nearly a week. There is nothing more we can do." The doctor stood there, hands in the pockets of his lab coat and rocking on the balls of his feet. As if her sister didn't matter. As if pulling the plug on Emily's life would have no effect at all on Lissa.
           The tears she'd been holding back finally fell, hitting the crease between her hand and Emily's before disappearing between them. This was her fault. Emily would never have met Derek if not for Lissa. Em should be laughing and chatting with her friends at the baby shower, not lying in a hospital bed with machines breathing for her. With her belly still stretched from pregnancy.
            "Emily could be the difference between life and death for more than ten people, but we have to act."

and invite you to share to. Go grab your beginning - the first 3-5 paragraphs - and share in the comments.

11 comments:

  1. Wow! Powerful. I'm drawn in completely. Bravo!

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  2. I love the beginning of a story too...and you did a fab job with yours. I'm totally sucked in and wanting to know what's going to happen.

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  3. Awesome beginning, Kristina!! Beginnings are the worst for me! I much prefer the middle, lol! I know, odd woman out. And here is why! This is the beginning of a WIP I can't wait to get back to as soon as I finish a submission I'm working on :)

    This one is titled Aftershock-the second book in my mercenary series (Hard Core was the first).
    Sam Ryden pushed through the door of his cabin, bone-weary despite the freezing temperatures. The hairs on back of his neck bristled. He set his pack on the floor and pulled the Sig-Sauer from beneath his parka. His night vision kicked in as he took a step inside.
    The distinct click of the safety being released from a weapon stopped him dead in his tracks.
    “That better be you, Sam Ryden.”
    The female voice spoke into the darkness, slightly breathless, a lot annoyed. Familiar. Incredibly sexy.
    He put his weapon away, closed the door and strode across the room to snap on the light. “Put your damn gun away, Sheriff.” The room lit softly from the dim glow of the lamp that sat next to the sofa.
    Sam went rigid when he got a look at her sitting on the floor in the corner of the small living room, her back against the wall. The best vantage point in case anyone came in. Someone had worked her over good. Bruises covered her face and she looked ready to topple over. The gun wavered in her hand, but she kept it trained on him, her finger steady on the trigger.
    He held up his hands in a non-threatening gesture. “Put the gun down.”
    She began to sway. “Not until you tell me what I want to know.”
    Christ, she was going to shoot him by accident if she didn’t take her finger off the damn trigger.

    There you go! I'm ready for the middle, lol. Now, if I could just figure out where this story is going I'd be all set :)

    Thanks, Kristina!! And I can't wait to read more of yours!!

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  4. I'm good with beginnings. Can usually picture the ending, mostly. It's the darn middle that's so hard.

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  5. Oh, the middle! I feel your pain, Kristina!! But once they're all shiny, the climb is worth it, don't you think? :D

    Thanks for coming by, Christine and Em - so glad you enjoyed the little snippet!

    And, Jennifer!!! I'm hooked - need to know what's next and next and...can't wait to read the whole thing!

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  6. Love that story! Mine is from Ride A Falling Star coming soon!

    Ava Demassi closed her dressing room door behind her with a firm click that echoed eerily in the empty hallway. All the other girls had cleared out after the last show. A few had dates; a handful had husbands waiting. Even a child for one or two. The public believed the life of a showgirl to be glamorous—dates with movie stars or millionaires every night. Maybe some of them had a sensational life fit for the tabloids. Not her. All she had was an empty apartment with a few wilted plants. Not even a cat waited for her.
    The hair on her arms stood up and she rubbed them. She wasn’t sure exactly what unnerved her. Because she was always slow to undress, she’d been the last one to leave many times before, but never been this jittery. Maybe she ought to call Bill, head of security, to accompany her. No, that was silly. She’d just cut through the casino; there’d be people all over the place.
    Never mind going on the floor was against rules. Penny, the director, constantly reminded them they weren’t to mingle with customers. Doing so could cost you your job. Ava doubted anyone would notice her in a long brown sweater and black leggings. Her stage makeup might give her away, though. Not worth the risk.
    Ava tugged her messenger bag’s strap tighter and hurried forward.

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  7. Nice job, Kristi! Here's mine from my WIP:Small Town Armageddon

    I thought I could to save the world.
    I was wrong.
    Dead wrong.

    I pluck my way through the mountains of rubble that remain of Ruxpin. Of home. Every few steps I pick up shrapnel of one sort or another and deposit them into baggies. Bag and tag. A scientist’s first obligation to an investigative site.

    When I return to my lab, I’ll run tests on the specimens and deduce where my equations went so horribly wrong.

    I didn’t annihilate my town on purpose In fact; I shut my experiment down last week to avoid anything like this happening. After I won the science fair there was no point of endangering the community. Especially after I noticed some anomalies in the flux-stream. I thought I should do some testing before Regional’s in Seattle.

    There’s no way I’ll be able to participate now. Not after my experiment vaporized an entire town.

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  8. LOVE those beginnings, D'Ann and Margie - if I picked up those books in a bookstore, I would have to keep reading!

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  9. I know this is a little weird, but my beginning involves a suicide. I love beginnings. Up to chapter 6 I'm usually good. Here's the beginning of my upcoming release, Ella Ever After. (Asterisks in place of italics)

    Freedom. The most beautiful word Ella could imagine. Today she would gain her freedom. She gazed over the stone balcony at the daisies in the courtyard below. Their yellow petals seemed especially bright this morning. Yellow daisies were her favorite flower. She'd planted them when she found out she was having a girl.
    Of course, Yorke hadn't given a damn about her or Daisy. The night she fell- no was knocked- down the stairs in their opulent home, Yorke paused to make sure she was alive, then called for an ambulance. When she woke up in the hospital, she learned she'd lost her beautiful baby girl.
    It wasn't the first time Yorke had beaten her for an imagined offense. But he always made sure that the bruises were on body parts Ella would be too embarrassed to show. He even took a ping pong paddle to her once. Ella spent the rest of that night at a dinner party trying not to wince every time she sat down.
    There was no one she could turn to for help. Her mother kept insisting Ella had to be doing something to make Yorke beat her.
    The musical notes of the song "Daisy Bell" came from her cell phone. She glanced at her phone to see Yorke's smiling face illuminate the screen. He had the face of an angel. Thick, blond hair brushed neatly back, dimpled cheeks, and a million dollar smile. He was always smiling pretty for the cameras. Ella wished she could crush the phone with her bare hands. He was going to be livid that she didn't immediately answer. *So what? He's not running things anymore.* When the phone announced she had a voice message, she tapped in her code and placed it to her ear.
    "Bitch, you'd better be dead or severely injured. I'm gonna kick your ass when I get home." Yorke's voice shook with rage. "How many times do I have to tell you to answer this damn phone when I call? You dumb bi-" Ella slid her finger across the screen to end the message. Same old threats, same old name calling. She tossed the phone to the stone floor of the balcony. His threats didn't matter. By the time he got home, she'd be gone. He would be nothing more than a bad dream she was allowed to wake from. The sun climbed higher, bouncing off the gold dome of the capital building. She'd miss Atlanta. It had been her home for more than fifteen years. But she had to go. Daisy needed her. And she needed to be with her daughter. She climbed onto the wide stone rail. Her lids fluttered closed when the gentle breeze caressed her face, and she inhaled the flowery scent of spring. The gauzy material of her white sundress brushed the backs of her legs. Freedom. She opened her arms wide and stepped from her perch, the beautiful daisies rushing up to meet her.

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  10. Oh, wow, what cool beginnings, and please register my vote for hating the middle. Here's the beginning of THE LONG SUMMER, which I just finished.

    Steven Elliot didn’t lose many patients, especially young ones. This was why, in addition to gifted young surgeon, the term miracle worker got bandied about in journalistic circles. So did sexy blond ponytail, sexy dark eyes, and sexy lean build. But those were downright embarrassing, so he tried not to give them too much thought. Usually. Then there were the articles that had more to do with his sexual prowess than his surgical skill. He tried to avoid those when they came out, but the fact that one of his sisters kept a scrapbook didn’t help that evasion tactic at all. Sometime, when he went home to Peacock, Tennessee for a weekend, that scrapbook was going to come to an abrupt and fiery end.
    Some of his patients were either celebrities or their relatives or just people that lived in the kind of communities no one in Peacock ever visited. Or, truth be told, wanted to.
    Operating on famous people added to his notoriety and, his wife had mentioned more than once, his ego. Just as it was his ego that made him say, “Sure, I can do that,” whenever he got invited to a radio or television talk show. But when he wanted to talk about heart surgery and affordable health care, the hosts always changed the subject to his social life. As though he had one.
    But people watched and listened and bothered him. Because he wasn’t a particularly private person, they assumed he had no right or wish for personal time or space. When he left the hospital the morning seventeen-year-old Jameson Edward Scott III died before he’d even been wheeled into the surgery suite, Steven was greeted by reporters and cameras.
    With a brusque “no comment,” he sprinted across the parking lot and got into his truck, getting his phone out of the pocket of his lab coat. He only had to slide his fingers over the screen of the phone to call someone, but that wasn’t enough—he needed one of the older styled phones he could jab angry fingers at.
    Teenagers weren’t supposed to die. They were supposed to be pains in the ass who stayed out too late and did stupid shit and drove their parents over the edge. They were not, no matter who they were, supposed to freaking die.

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  11. Am I too late? I hope not! Love beginnings--I try hard to give any book at least 50 pages to hook me, but a great first few paragraphs always thrills me!

    Here goes: First 5 from SEX AND THE WIDOW MILES:

    The elevator doors whispered shut behind me and my shoulders sagged beneath the weight of an overstuffed canvas carryon, a leather laptop bag, and my purse. Plush carpet, four handsome mahogany doors, and warm taupe paint made this floor of the Lake Terrace building as perfectly appointed as the lobby and the elevator. Starting down the elegant hallway, I caught sight of a thin, pale woman in the mirror above the table at the other end. Frankly, she looked like hammered shit.
    God, what happened to you?
    The woman was me.
    Once again, I wondered what the hell I was doing. That same thought had occurred to me on the plane from Traverse City, again while I was standing at the baggage claim in O’Hare International, and in the cab on the way to Carrie and Liam’s new apartment on Lakeshore Drive. Only the fact that I had to pee kept me from hitting the elevator button and heading right back to the airport. I kicked my suitcase to orient the wheels so I could pull it through the rich carpet.
    Heaving a sigh, I dug in my purse for the key Carrie had pressed into my hand when she hugged me at the airport. “This is a good thing, Jules. I promise.”

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