Story openings are so important that books have been written on beginnings alone. There’s so much pressure on a writer to get it right or their manuscript will end up in the dreaded slush pile. Once published, the author wants the story read, so a good beginning is essential to prevent busy people like us from putting their book down.
How often does a story opening hijack your life so you have little choice but to keep reading?
For today’s post I wanted to examine a random book’s beginning (first paragraph only), so I snatched one off the shelf in the dark as I crept out of my bedroom. Lets see what I’ve got:
“The moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she’d be unemployed before the sun rose. Her third dismissal in as many months.”
I like it! I immediately want to know more. Who is Finley Jayne, and why is she out and about during the night? Why will she be fired? What’s up with her that she can’t hold a job? Who’s the man twirling the walking stick? Her employer? The law? What happens next?
There’s immediate conflict, I know who the main character is and a little bit of the setting. The walking stick gives me a clue to time period. A very nice beginning, and beginnings are not all created equal.
The book: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.
Come play with me on this Monday morning. Choose a random book and share the opening paragraph. How did it work for you? Did you want to read more? Why or why not?