Saturday, March 09, 2019

How I start a story – Kandy Shepherd

I’m starting to write a new book—if all goes well, it will be my sixteenth for Harlequin Romance. My fourteenth is out now, Second Chance with the Single Dad and the fifteenth will be out in September.

So how do I start? I have a character from an earlier book who has been clamoring for his story. (I won’t go into any detail as who knows what might change after these preliminary thoughts!) It’s his time. I think I’ve found him the perfect woman, however neither he nor know this yet. There’ll be quite some mind changing to do to get them together!

I like to have a clear idea of what my characters look like, what they wear, where they live. I start a Pinterest board for each story and have a lot of fun with it. If you’d like to see my boards for my published stories, why not visit my Pinterest Boards?

 I have a special notebook for each book I write, to jot down ideas, try out paragraphs, keep by my bed in case I wake up at night with a brilliant idea that will be forgotten by morning if I don’t write it down.

Isn’t this notebook with the wisteria beautiful? It’s probably my favorite. I think I’ll have to include a scene with wisteria in the new story in honour of it! Yes, I do have nightmares about losing the notebook but so far that hasn’t happened. Fingers crossed it doesn’t!

 Some writers use computer programs to keep track of everything for their book. If I was writing a big book with lots of research and multiple story lines, I might try that. In the meantime, it either goes in the notebook or in a file on my computer. A timeline for a story is a must or I can get very muddled. But my version of a timeline is very simple, just a roughly sketched calendar for the months the story spans. 

 Now I’m working on the first chapter, the most important to get readers hooked into the story. It takes me forever! I might rewrite it many times until I get it right and move on to the next chapters which tend to flow more smoothly.

 So that’s where I’m at and I have to get cracking! A deadline that seems comfortably months away has a habit of sneaking up on me at a remarkable pace… So wish me luck as I set off on a new writing journey!

Second Chance with the Single Dad is a February 2019 release from Harlequin Romance in North America; Mills & Boon True Love in the UK; and Mills & Boon Forever Romance in Australia and New Zealand.

Kandy Shepherd is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her family and a menagerie of four-legged friends.

Visit Kandy at her website

Connect with Kandy on FacebookTwitter,Pinterestand Instagram

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

Best wishes and happy writing! I love using journals to keep track of writing, too.