Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Lines

What am I reading now?  Endless (Amanda Gray)
Annnd. . . what do I think so far? Jenny lives with her dad. Her mom died when she was 6, but she's more like her mom than she ever knew. Lately, she is  seeing visions of the Romanov family in Russia. She knows the visions feel important, personal. But can she unravel the mystery that link her to them, to Nikolai and Ben before they lose their lives?

The blurb on the book states she can see other people's lives when she touches them. I don't think the book fulfills that promise. From what I read, she only sees her own life. Even so, I enjoyed this book and will look for the next one in the series.

First Lines
Jacob M. Appel wrote an article for Writer's Digest and gave a list of ways to start a novel, ways to write first lines really. Here are the 7 categories he named and an example of each that he gave:
1. A statement of eternal principle.Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
2. A statement of simple fact.Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: “It was a pleasure to burn.”
3. A statement of paired facts.Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter: “In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together.”
4. A statement of simple fact laced with significance.Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind: “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful. …”
5. A statement to introduce voice.Anthony Burgess opens A Clockwork Orange: “What’s it going to be then, eh?”
6. A statement to establish mood.Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar: “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” 
7. A statement that serves as a frame.English storytellers have been doing this since at least the first recorded use of the phrase “Once upon a time” in the 14th century.
(The full text is in the Writer's Yearbook Fall 2012)
My goal this week is to work on the opening lines for our finished books, try on different types of first lines.

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