7 WAYS TO CREATE A KILLER OPENING LINE FOR YOUR NOVEL

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longknife
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7 WAYS TO CREATE A KILLER OPENING LINE FOR YOUR NOVEL

Post by longknife » June 17th, 2014, 4:57 pm

I think this is, by far, the hardest task for any writer.

If you’re having trouble nailing your opening, you’re in luck: writer and WD contributor Jacob M. Appel offers up seven different approaches to writing a killer opening line (he includes examples from classic novels to accompany each, too). Here they are and they are worth bookmarking and referencing each time you begin a story.

1. A statement of Eternal Principal.
2. A statement of simple fact
3. A statement of paired facts'
4. A statement of simple fact laced with significance
5. A statement to introduce voice
6. A statement to establish mood
7. A statement that serves as a frame

I've read them all and, while they make a great deal of sense, I still don't think it hits the nail on the head. There are some definite no-nos such as showing sun, moon, stars, or other trite statements. But, in the end, it's entire the voice of each individual author. What YOU would say.

Read more @ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-edi ... your-novel
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polymath
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Re: 7 WAYS TO CREATE A KILLER OPENING LINE FOR YOUR NOVEL

Post by polymath » June 17th, 2014, 6:30 pm

Each of those seven and their examples are direct declarative statements. Firm and assertive, okay. I avoid declarations. They come across as narrator lecture, a voice of the narrator. I prefer the perceived and received reflections of a viewpoint character's immediate in the moment, place, and situation of the unfolding action for its reality imitation. Usually a sensory stimulus that is also at the same time reactive, internal, interior life attitude toward the stimulus. An example from William Gibson's Neuromancer

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

Superficially a declaration, a statement of fact; however, highly subjective, personal, not, in fact, factual, personal voice, received reflection of a sensory stimulus, stimulus reaction, attitude, and metalepsis (an analogy, a rhetorical trope akin to a metaphor): "Reference to something by means of another thing that is remotely related to it, either through a farfetched causal relationship, or through an implied intermediate substitution of terms." (Silva Rhetoricae)

A sensory detail that locates readers personally inside a narrative's reality imitation, event, setting, and viewpoint character is for me an ideal opening line.
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irag12
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Re: 7 WAYS TO CREATE A KILLER OPENING LINE FOR YOUR NOVEL

Post by irag12 » September 13th, 2014, 12:56 am

I really enjoyed Timothy's chapters because it was so interesting learning about him being on the ship. I have little sailing experience myself so I found all of it captivating. Readers who enjoy adventure should get this book. The characters are well developed and the plot is interesting enough to keep the story moving forward.
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longknife
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Re: 7 WAYS TO CREATE A KILLER OPENING LINE FOR YOUR NOVEL

Post by longknife » September 13th, 2014, 4:27 pm

irag12 wrote:I really enjoyed Timothy's chapters because it was so interesting learning about him being on the ship. I have little sailing experience myself so I found all of it captivating. Readers who enjoy adventure should get this book. The characters are well developed and the plot is interesting enough to keep the story moving forward.
Thank you very much for this. It is always heartening to know that someone enjoys all the time and effort one puts into telling a story.

Mind if I share this with others?
Drop by Father Serra's Legacy http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com. Comments always eagerly awaited - but only if you find the item interesting enough to respond to.

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