Are we all excited?
*pause under the weight of complete and total silence… I’m not even hearing crickets here, folks*
Well, yeah, that’s kind of why we’re here. We’ll get those crickets warmed up and singing off their little toes in no time.
It’s sort of apropos really, starting off with the whole world is deathly quiet thing, I mean. That deafening silence of no response, no feedback, no hoots and hollers, no whines and moans from an eager audience, that’s what I, like any author, feel like when I sit down to write those crucial first lines of a novel.
A blank slate.
We’re talking freaking out scary, the kind where that flight or fight response kicks in and all your nerve endings get all prickly and nauseous and you start re-thinking your purpose in life and if you’re really worthy of being considered a life form above a slug and even those mute little crickets outside your window are starting to look at you funny…
Ok. That may be just me.
But you get the picture.
So how do you start? It’s the Dickens versus King Dilemma.
Do you roll like Dickens and weave and sow words and characters and settings into a world so tight and so real that the reader loses themselves completely within it after the first ten or twenty pages?
Or do you go for the shock value, mold your efforts after Stephen King and throw the reader into the deep end of the story before they have time to even grab one last breath?
For me, when writing a romance that will be vying with all those millions of other romances out there, I go for the Wham Bam Theory.
Right out of the box, I try to hit the reader in the face. Slap a storyline or an emotion on them so fast that they have no choice but to turn to page two.
Then, after a few pages, when they’re hooked but still squiggling on the line, I try to reel them in with a little Dickens. Make them want to stay beyond just having to stay to find out what happens next.
At least that’s plan.
Does it work or not? That’s up to you, the fishes that give life and reason, the beautiful creatures that give slugs like me the courage to string a little line into the literary waters and hope for the best, little lines like these…
Gunfire erupted from the darkened house.
An unmarked police car sat in the driveway, its blue lights whirling madly in the hot Detroit night
There were no screams, no shouts of fright or anger.
There were no mad rushes, no frantic footsteps fleeing the scene.
And there was only silence on the police radio.
Stillness strangled the night.
If this peek at the Prologue of Peak and Thrust works for you, entices you to come back tomorrow and get a peek at Chapter One, I lay its success entirely at the feet of the Wham Bam Theory… since without that first initial “Wham!” there would be never be the proverbial sweet “Bam! and Thank you, Ma’am!”
I do hope to see you tomorrow, even though I realize now that I have compared you to bugs and big mouth bass… Hmm, I guess there really is a reason why my social life is stunted.
Until tomorrow, tell your friends, family and all your best fishes to come on by and help us warm up a few cricket toes.
Chloe Stowe, the slug in today’s little drama