Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Starting With A Bang
Well, I'm totally angsting. This is the week where I need to send in 75-100pgs of Velvet Have to my editor. She just wants to make sure the book is achieving what it should and that the whole Annwyn world is being 'dripped' in, not blasting in and confusing readers. And, she wants to make sure it's 'dark and sexy'. I'm all for this. No writer wants to write an entire book to hear, 'yeah, uh, this isn't working'. I'd rather know that when I can fix it early on, BEFORE the deadline. So, why am I angsting...I'm having a HORRIBLE time starting this book. Aargh! It's just one of those books I can't seem to find the beginning. With Addicted, it just flowed. But this one...it's like Chinese torture! Poor Kristina (with her own deadline) has just read the third different opening. (Yes, I'm a mean critique partner) and I finally think that I'm getting somewhere.
You see, when you begin writing and learning the craft, you discover this 'begin with a bang' theory. That is, find a really strong, compelling opening hook. I agree with that. But if you go through history's famous literature, not all of it is a bang. Some of it is 'really? This is a good opening?"
I always seem to want to go for tone when I open a book, instead of that brilliant line with words to draw you in. And I know I have to start this book off right, and it's got me all jittery.
So, to have fun today, I'm giving you a Tuesday Brain Tease. I've compiled a list of literature's famous (and soon to be famous) opening lines. Not all are books, but see if you can guess the title and author of the book. I'll post the answers tonight.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. (Utterly brilliant in my opinon!)
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
She walks in beauty like the night;of cloudless climes and starry skies.
“Edith!” said Margaret gently, “Edith!” (um...really? That's it?)
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. (Hmmmm, no bang here)
The pungent odor of urine, the copper tang of blood, and the stench of terror blended in perfect union with the wailing moans and strangled screams of the multitudes of prisoners begging for merciful death. (Zing!!! I'm SO envious I didn't write this...pout)
I must confess, for though I am female, and of lowly rank for a woman of my time, I am wealthy by comparison to many who suffer the drought of a dry marriage bed.
“He’s like Mr. Rochester and…and”—Christobel searched her mind for a proper literary example—“Mr. Darcy, all rolled into one brooding, supercilious parcel.”
Slave. Minion. Fiend. The others who have come before me have been called such things, but I prefer to think if myself as a disciple; a devout follower of my voluptuous mistress.
She was exactly the sort of mortal he was looking for—single, lonesome and begging for it. (that's my opening line for Velvet Haven)
Pick up the book you're reading right now and tell us the opening line! Does it work you. Does the author 'start with a bang'. Can't wait to see everyone's answers!
Posted by Charlotte Featherstone at 7:08 AM