Well, in the beginning was the word, wasn’t it? You see how A.J’s post has inspired me with this one? And not just A.J. No. Fury now has her very own book club over at Furious Unravelings.
with a very nice page, not only showing some of the many members. Myrtle.
and their favourite books….
but the badge she bestowed on her first guest, the lovely and extraordinarily brave Noelle Clark,
whose book about angels and flying has been write up Myrtle’s street so far. Get Myrtle to stop squawking about it…?
Also, the first ‘professional’ review of The Unravelling of Lady Fury, by Book Reviews and Peeks just went up on Amazon.com. It’s actually a nail biting time for a writer. I have to say she saw things in the book I wasn’t aware I’d put in!! But we’ll keep that secret.
When you are physically incapable of doing frills and pouts and your characters not only operate in certain vortexes–some off the grid–they call each other bitches and bastards, it’s not just hallelujah to get a five starrer review like this, it’s a flat out on the deck relief. I can stop peeking through my fingers–a little ways anyway.
SO openers, well A.J, wrote of their importance in hooking a reader in and I menshied my three favs.
I could also add to that list some other fabulous top ten openers.
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ Pride and Prejudice
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” Catcher in the Rye
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anna Karenina
Personally, I agree with A.J. there can be too much pressure put on how to start a novel. And as one of my favourite openers demonstrates, for me anyway the book itself fell flat and didn’t grip all the way, because an opener does not a great book necessarily make.
But there is no denying either that those openers are so great because they sum up the book in essence. Whether we stay hooked is another matter, we know from that first sentence what this book is going to be about.
Let’s look at that famously derided opener.
“It was a dark and stormy night
; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets
Personally I don’t think it’s as bad as all that. I think the author did a great job of setting the scene…of describing that moment. But he’s not giving us the book is he? He’s giving us the kind of night it is which I don’t want to read on about unless he also gives us a pair of wellies and a plastic mac.
Pink would be nice.
But if you think of the words, ‘Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley
again,’ well now in nine words tops, we have that hint of mystery, a dream …always good, the word again
, knowing the writer has been before and it must be something to them to dream, good, bad, or longingly about it. And what, where is this marvellously named place Manderley
? Why is the writer dreaming and not there?
At a glance you also have the book.
Worth keeping in mind the next time you sit down on that dreaded first line.