I write a novel after making a plan. The initial work includes list of scenes I want to put my list of characters into. I want them to have to go through some things on the way through the story.
I knew that planning a novel about saving 2500 acres of oak woodlands was going to be based on readers caring about the characters that have found themselves joined to the struggle.
I wanted two very intense people try to grapple with how their greatness has been the cause of so much interpersonal failure.
Each scene adds another building block to this effort to hook readers into caring. And of all the things worth caring for, the characters may be the most important.
This is not a sex scene, this is a surrender your heart scene, to a complete stranger, a pair having some kind of love at first sight experience, both having been not so much unlucky in love but more a bit too clever and professionally pressured to make room for love.
The novel can’t work unless this scene works. This is a clash between two immensely talented, proud, vulnerable, successful, competitive people who more than anything else can’t quite admit out loud how much they both crave the possibility of creating a durable intimate life with a partner.
Here is their first meeting. Shocked, blown away, struggling to make their way in, both stumble from start to end trying to figure out what it is they have found.