I love the snowy background of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and it's the first time I've had a horse in the forefront of the scene. That's Lola - she's with my hero/herione for the entire story.
In the story, Bodine is a little older than the man here and more embittered by life, a bounty hunter by trade, but Bodine looks determined and rugged enough on this cover for me! I think the artist captured the essence of Emma well - she's a young woman who's run off on her own for the first time in her life. Our hero is secretly being paid by her protective grandmother to keep her unharmed and untouched.
STARTING BODINE'S BOUNTY IN THE RIGHT PLACE
I really struggled with the opening to this story. Did I need a prologue to explain some of the backstory and set up the book? Do I start with Bodine making the secret deal with Emma's grandmother? But after all my deliberation, I knew I had to START MY STORY WITH ACTION.
When in doubt, an action scene never fails to grab the audience getting them involved from early on. There's a brief set-up in the first few paragraphs, then WHAM! Emma gets herself in big trouble and Bodine comes to her rescue. The first scene tells a whole lot about both characters, their motivations and keeps a a fast pace for most of the first chapter. After three tries, I finally got it right and was happy with the result.
When starting the story, I really gave a great deal of thought on how to best depict my characters and their conflict in those first few scenes. Each character was on their own separate mission in the story, but their lives become entwined early on. I knew I wanted to begin the story there - at the point where they are thrown together. Their FIRST MEET was memorable. I put Emma in a position where she was forced to trust Bodine and from the start she wasn't sure she made the right decision. It was the right decision for me. Once the first chapter was written and it worked beautifully, I figured all the time and attempts at getting it just right had panned out.
Contest Continues --
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