Hooves pounded against the road through the darkness.
Start a story with strong action and suspense. Yep, tick that box. Horses galloping in the middle of the night. Perfect. Or not.
Thank god I have a phenomenal editor. Tirzah saves me from so many of my worst plotting decisions. When she read my original opening, with me there, she protested vehemently, laughing and joking. This is the conversation we had, and what we talked out became the new, stronger opening for Between Luck and Magic.
“They’re galloping out of the city at night? Really?’
“But they are in danger and need to get out of the city as quickly as possible.”
“And galloping down the road is the surest way to get noticed.”
“Hmmmm. You might have a point there.” grumbling thought ensued.
Tirzah is Kirrin’s voice of reason in many places. I took her words, her wisdom, and put them into his mouth.
“Go!” Jedda said. “I’ll try to stay on.”
“No! Just keep moving at a normal pace. You don’t want to attract attention, and galloping down the road in the middle of the night will definitely look suspicious.”
This made far more sense, what any sane rational person who exhibits good sense would do. Kirrin’s background trained him well and he knows the things that attract attention, and how to blend in.
“Hey, you there–” But the voice was further away now, and sounded uninterested in pursuit.
So, the end result, I think, is an opening scene that reads well, makes sense, and also contains the element of suspense. As much as I loved seeing my heroes making a high-speed escape, with poor Jedda trying not to fall off of a horse, or worse, actually falling off a horse… it probably ticked all of the boxes of “are you serious?”… that I hate so much when I read.
So when you are enjoying any of the books, and especially when you hear Kirrin giving advice about something– you can be pretty sure there is a bit of Tirzah behind the scenes;)
I can’t wait until I finish book three, because then she is going to start working on HER series and I get to play the other side of this game muauauaaaaahhhhaaaahaahhaaaaaaa:)