When I first sat down to write Search For Yesterday, I was unaware of the road block waiting just beyond my awesome beginning. I say awesome, not because I think it's the greatest ever, but because I believe most writers, when we first get an idea for a story, feel like it's awesome, if not, we would simply discard it and move on.
At any rate, a few chapters in, I found myself languishing in travel loggish filler babble that wouldn't interest anyone, which quickly had me tangled in the "I don't know what the crap I'm doing" feelings, or, "how do I get free of this tangle of clinging vines strangling my story". Since then, I have conversed with a number of aspiring authors, most having wonderful beginnings to their projects, but that have found themselves mired in the same sinking frustration, with no visible avenue of escape. What rescued me? Maybe luck, maybe intelligence I didn't know I had, ...or perhaps when I called for help, discouraged and desperate from my knees, a kind Father and God lended a hand. Yeah, I think it was that, because I'm neither that lucky nor smart. The thing I do know, however, is that I'm loved and watched over.
All at once, I had the thought that I should surround the great beginning to my story with life. Real, relate able, living, breathing, ...things, personalities, and experiences that while on first thought seemed like they might rob attention from my main character who I thoroughly loved, would in fact, in the end give him the added value he lacked. I discovered years back while studying fine art, that to give life to an object, one must add light, and shadow, being unselfish enough to sacrifice detail in the background, while being bold enough to cover portions of the desired focal point with objects in the foreground to accomplish the richness that depth of field provides.
What I learned from my experience, was that writing, like fine art, must include elements of light, color, contrast and depth, and by adding each to my story, suddenly my main character began to pop from the page. His personality, looks, character, and his adventures, all benefiting because of the development of his supporting cast. The most beautiful sunsets would seem ordinary without contrasting clouds, mountains, oceans, skylines, and even unseen particulates in the atmosphere. Often we see only one, but neither has the same value without the other.