Welcome to my new feature called Wednesday Wing where I’ll be passing on
observations, tips and information to readers I’ve made a note of.
Today I’m passing on a tip about HIGH IMPACT opening lines.
I read several books a week, each time I open a new book I look forward to the first lines pulling me in, making me ask questions, getting me inside the head of a character. To me that’s the making of a great book.
Kate Moretti gives a concise and extremely interesting post here called “Fishing Out Your Manuscript Hook” when she wrote a guest post for Writers in the Storm.
The more books I read the more I DISLIKE prologues/ prefaces, quotes and poems, pages which, for me, interfere with launching myself into the book.
What I want is a gem of a book which grabs me and takes me off on an adventure, an escape from my ordinary life and one where I can’t stop turning the pages.
I’m going to grab some books from my bookshelf and tell you their first sentence and let’s see which ones we would carry on reading.
It was at a love-spinning that I saw Kester first. (Precious Bane by Mary Webb) A small hook for me I want to know what a love-spinning is and who Kester is?
“I need poison…now…this very night” (The Gallows Curse by Karen Maitland) Another small hook, who needs the poison? Why is their speech drawn out? Are they ill or out of breath?
It was dark under the trees, only a little moonlight penetrating the half-bare branches. (Sovereign by C.J Sansom) No real hook here for me.
Death…David lifted his eyes from the desk, looking at the framed photograph of Duane Hanson’s plastic sculpture “Supermarket Lady”. (Handling The Undead by John Lindqvist) A small hook, who is David? but the rest did nothing for me, in fact the word plastic turned me off.
A flash of moonlight touched her hair with silver as she scurried along the street into town. (Cold Sacrifice by Leigh Russell) A very small hook, who is this lady? But not very exciting.
“Ever-Wait!” Damen reaches toward me, grasping my shoulder, hoping to slow me, to bring me to him, but I keep moving forward, can’t afford the delay. (Ever Lasting by Alyson Noel) A good hook. who is Damen? What are they running from or to? Are they running or walking fast? Why can’t they afford a delay?
The road was a killer, hardly wider than a decent stream of spit and snaking like a cobra between giant bushes loaded with strange flowers that resembled drops of blood. (Indulgence in Death by J.D Robb) This one hooked me, in fact it had me reading on…Why was the road a killer? Where is it set? Is the blood a significance? Why does the narrator choose these analogies? What is their mind-set? Are they male or female?
Over to you, what do you look for in a first line?
Here are links to all previous Wednesday Wing posts.
May 6th 2015 – Checking your WordPress is linked to your Twitter helps others share your posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7L2
May 13th 2015 – Writer’s Craft books by Rayne Hall full of REALLY useful tips http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Ma
May 20th 2015 – Hyperlinks, Short links and Linkys http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Rl
May 27th 2015 – Making your post titles easy to share on Twitter to maximise views. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7SA
June 17th 2015 – Creating Twitter pics that fit http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Y4
June 24th 2015 – Creating a slideshow on WordPress http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Yo
July 1st 2015 – Getting the most out of Google+ posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7YM
July 8th 2015 – Automated Tweets, LOVE ‘EM or HATE ‘EM? make use of them http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Za
July 15th 2015 – What’s Your Book Genre? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84S
July 22nd 2015 – Should you write dreams into your work? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84Q
July 29th 2015 – What can I read in the first 10% of your book? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84W
August 5th 2015 – Dialogue – he/she said http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-87T
August 12th 2015 – Creating Twitter Lists – http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8ck
August 19th 2015 – Making best use of your Twitter “Thank-You” http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8cn