Tuesday, August 09, 2011

To Begin

Thank you for reading me, without you, I don't exist.

That's how I think a book should start. I like a book that surprises me, that grabs me. I like a book which catches me off guard by acknowledging me.  No, not all the time, but once in a while, when a book is written as though it's being written to me, or better still, urgently whispered into my ear, it makes reading all the sweeter.

Many books have brilliant openings, though most of them, even the most brilliant of them, are forgettable. There are the standards, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth," or "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," but in general, no matter how immediately the author sucks the reader into his/her tale, unless it is a truly jarring first sentence, the reader won't remember it fifteen pages into the book.  That's why I want a first line that startles. Non-confrontational yet direct. A first line that unsettles. A first line that addresses me so personally that it might as well have said "Dear Slee."

Who knows, perhaps I'll take that opening to the bank. Perhaps I'll go ahead and use it for my NaNoWriMo this November.  Maybe you will.  Just remember, grab the reader and don't let go, because it's true. Without a reader, dear writer, your words don't exist.


In response to the August 5th writing prompt from NaBloPoMo, "What is the best first sentence you can think of off the top of your head?"

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