I love those "Ah-ha!" moments. Suddenly, out of the blue, something that should have been obvious lights a bulb within the gray matter. In other words: I get it!
I get these insights every now and then. In one case, the meaning of something I had read many times over became more clear. It had a deeper meaning -- one I hadn't previously considered. In other cases, these moments involve how to do something more efficiently or effectively.
This clarity doesn't come with force or magic. It seems to come when I least expect.
For instance, I've been stuck -- good and stuck -- in a certain story. I know where it goes, but it doesn't 'sing'. Then I started to wonder about other stories I've published. Why is one more popular with readers than another? Obviously, the sub genre and plot are big factors. But there's one aspect I hadn't thought about in a while: Where should it start?
I believe something as simple as where you begin a story makes all the difference. But I've forgotten about that over time. I've let that notion take a backseat to figuring out the plot, motivation, and sequence of events. Not to mention the choreography of love and fight scenes.
Where you begin is almost as important as where you end a story. Most readers won't invest a lot of time in wading through paragraphs of description and back story to get to the meat of the piece. They want to jump into a novel with both feet and be completely drawn under.
So, there you have it. That may be part of the pull one book has over another -- particularly in these days of "click to look inside". It only takes seconds to read the first pages of almost any book. Did the writer grab you that fast? If not, chances are you won't buy it read the rest.
I've re-opened the current wip. I sliced three paragraphs off the beginning. Hopefully, by the time I'm through, the words will really sing.