Canvas Bound by Laura M. Kolar
(Captive Art #1)
Publication date: July 3rd 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance,
Sixteen-year-old Libby Tanner’s art comes to life. Her painted skies turn from day to night, leaves rustle on trees, and sometimes, a mystery boy appears.
While attending England’s Aldridge Art Academy, Libby meets charming Brent Henderson, a performing arts student who showers her with attention. But his rival, gorgeous Dean James, is the one who occupies her mind, even though he’s very much attached to his current girlfriend.
Libby soon learns there’s more to both Brent and Dean than she ever imagined. In order to save her future and the boy who’s captured her heart, she must unlock the secrets behind her art by entering the most dangerous place of all… the world within her paintings.
But once she steps into the canvas, she risks being trapped forever.
How Not to Start a Novel
You get the idea.
A question I get asked a lot when I tell someone I write, is how do I start the story? How do I know what words to put first on the page? This isn’t easy for me to answer because every story is different. Normally, I write linearly, as in page one to ‘The End’, but the last two stories I’ve written as the scenes have come to me and the beginning wasn’t the first thing I wrote.
I have found it helpful to figure out who the key characters are in the story and what I want the reader to know about them right away as opposed to something I want the reader to find out as the story unfolds. For example, if your main character is a mechanic, you could start the story with them staring at a pan of dirty oil and remembering or noticing something intriguing that gives the reader some insight into the character’s personality. But later you find out they’re not really a mechanic, they’re in a witness protection program and only know about cars because they were some mobster’s driver.
One thing I’ve never done is start a story with dialog, though other authors like this format. I personally feel it’s a bit too abrupt to start with people talking and not even know who they are in order to get a feel for how the dialog should be read, happy, mad, psychotic. A couple I started with what’s considered a ‘cliché’, the girl woke up from a dream, the boy stood in front of a mirror (they’ve since been changed). I’m not saying that’s right or wrong (I’m not saying any of this is right or wrong), but I’ve heard that agents and publishers shy away from these types of beginnings. I think mostly because they’re not very original ideas.
Some writers like to introduce secondary characters right away and some like to hold off a few pages or even a chapter. Also, if you’re writing from two points of view, deciding which character to start with is a whole other dilemma because you kind of have to start two separate stories.
Then, once you’ve gotten through all of that, you have to actually sit down and write the first words. Are they funny? Are they thought provoking? Do they make any sense at all to anyone but you? The very first book I wrote started, My name is Charlie Murphy and I just got dumped. Is it good? Is it bad? I suppose that depends on how much you want to know about Charlie. (By the way, he’s a super sweet guy. The kind every mother wants for her daughter.) At any rate, if you haven’t figured it out already, the first words are quite possibly the hardest to write.
Then again, Once upon a time has a nice ring to it.
(The book will be on sale for 0.99c during the blitz.)
Laura M. Kolar lives with her husband and daughter in a one-stop-light town in northern-lower Michigan. Though she didn't discover her love of books until she turned thirty, as a self-declared hopeless romantic, she has spent the past few years reading and writing stories with mostly happy endings. If not at her day-job or with her family, you will find her sipping a cup of chai latte while sitting in her favorite rocking chair, hunched over her laptop writing or spending entirely too much time on Twitter.