Where does the story start? Another Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth @mroth_author

*taps mic*  Testing. 1 – 2 – 3 – testing. Is this thing on? *screech noise*  Oh, why hello there. Welcome back to another Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth. Today I’ll be talking a bit about where the story actually starts and ends.

I’ve been on vacation from le day job this week (HOORAY!!!!!) so I’ve been recharging my mental batteries. I’ve been writing, researching, and actually doing some reading. Mostly reading, TBH. I’ve gotten hooked on this particular author’s works. They’re just short stories about Sheikhs and their unsuspecting virginal secretaries, etc.

I KNOW, I KNOW. It’s one of the oldest, most trite tropes out there, but… it’s enduring for a reason, I tell you. 😉

But.. after binge reading … umm.. Let’s just call it an obscene amount, shall we? Okay, so after reading an obscene amount of this person’s work, I began to wonder. “So what next? You’ve got this brash, sassy American who is now the equivalent of a princess… I wonder how things will work out?”

This ties back into my series post from last week quite nicely, but also took me down the rabbit hole when I began to wonder where the story actually starts.


I’ll admit, this is something that I struggle with until this very day. My current WIP is in its infancy and I’m already hemming and hawing about where it starts. Do I add a prologue that goes over the actual event that brings the character back into the life of the hero? Do I go over the event that brings the hero back into the heroine’s life? Do I go over their initial meeting? Have I done enough to garner an emotional connection between my readers and the characters in the book?  Will they be invested enough to wait until I can explain the history?

The ending… Should I include an epilogue that shows you how their happy ending shapes up? Does the reader need that? Will the reader be satisfied with my ending? Will they want more? Will they be left wondering, so what’s next?

Those are big questions. They’re the difference between a decent book and a book that they’ll re-read over and over.

I hope that’s some food for thought, anyway. Till next week!


Michelle Roth

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About Michelle Roth

Michelle Roth is a novelist from the Great White North (Toronto, ON). When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book. In her spare time she is typically hanging out with her awesome boyfriend and their two equally awesome cats. She likes taking road trips to nowhere in particular, cooking elaborate meals then making other people do the dishes, and being nerdy on the internet. Her books are currently available on http://www.bookstrand.com/michelle-roth

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