Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Faces and First Lines
If you go to writers conferences, you'll hear writers teach that the first line of a novel should pull you in immediately. That it should grip you and not let go. While I wholeheartedly agree with that, I think the rest of the words in a novel should pretty much carry their weight as well. But I do love opening lines!
At random, I pulled a few books off my TBR (To Be Read) shelf, which is growing way too overcrowded, and I sank down in my imaginary bubble bath and devoured some first sentences. A few connected more than others. Some pulled me in hook, line, and sinker. Let's see your reaction…
The girl was the first to hear the loud pounding on the door.
Sarah's Key by Tatiana deRosnay
The pair moved through that gray landscape as though no one would see them––dressed alike in overalls and faded coats, one big, one little, one black-headed, one tow-headed, father and son.
Ladies in Spring (Collected Stories) by Eudora Welty
Elin Carlson walked into the barn and everything changed.
Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
The mantel clock was exquisite, even though its hands rested in silence at twenty minutes past two.
Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner
There were years after it happened, after I'd returned from the town and come back here to the busy blank of the city, when some comment would be tossed off about the Second World War and how it had gone––some idiotic remark about clarity and purpose––and I'd resist the urge to stub out my cigarette and bring the dinner party to a satisfying halt.
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
It was bitter cold, the air electric with all that had not happened yet.
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
I woke sick to the sound of an envelope slid under my door.
A Separate County by Robert Hicks
Sitting beside the road, watching the wagon mount the hill toward her, Lena thinks, 'I have come from Alabama: a fur piece.'
Light in August by William Faulkner
It's not that I ever had delusions of grandeur, or even that I think I am better than anyone else, but there is something about donning a tag that says, "Please be patient; I'm a trainee" and asking, "Would you like paper or plastic?" that is uniquely, even brutally, humbling.
Summer Snow by Nicole Baart
Winter rode into Richmond on the chattering breath of the Atlantic.
The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello
Elspeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
The old woman peered past the red geraniums in her deep front window at the figure lingering in the moon-white snow at the gate.
Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
Did you connect with any of these "faces?" With the setting? Or the character's opening plight? If yes, which one(s)? Several tugged at my interest, but I especially loved Summer Snow. Can't you just feel the POV (point of view) character's discomfort? Their unease in their situation? Love it!
FREE KINDLE BOOKS
For those of you who read Kindle Books, there are some great frees ones out there right now. Be sure and check out:
The Prisoner in the Third Cell by Gene Edwards
Leadership Prayers by Richard Kriegbaum
The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser (LOVED this book! Oh so good!)
The Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson
Wild Thing by Dandi MacKall
The Millenials by Thom S. Ranier and Jess W. Rainer
If you know of others, let us know! And remember, you can read Kindle books on your laptop or Mac.
Blessings on your Tuesday, friends,
P.S. If you haven't heard about The Reading Promise yet, check it out. GREAT story!