Studies show that readers have short attention spans and a writer has to grab them within the first few pages if not actually the opening paragraph. With that in mind, I thought I’d share the openings of some of my favorite reads. I’m tempted to post them and let y’all guess what books/authors but I won’t be mean like that.
First up, a couple classics:
I was running away. I was running away from England, from my childhood, from the winter, from a sequence of untidy, unattractive love-affairs, from the few sticks of furniture and jumble of overworn clothes that my London life had collected around me; and I was running away from drabness, fustiness, snobbery, the claustrophobia of close horizons and from inability, although I am quite an attractive rat, to make headway in the rat-race. In fact, I was running away from almost everything except the law. ~Ian Fleming, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (and no, that’s not Bond narrating.) 😉
And the book I cut my romantic suspense teeth on, though that wasn’t a “genre” way back then…
It was the egret, flying out of the lemon grove, that started it. I won’t pretend I saw it straight away as the conventional herald of adventure, the white stag of the fairy-tale, which bounding away from the enchanted thicket, entices the prince away from his followers, and loses him in the forest where danger threatens with the dusk. But, when the big white bird flew suddenly up among the glossy leaves and the lemon-flowers, and wheeled into the mountain, I followed. What else is there to do when such a thing happens on a brilliant April noonday at the foot of the White Mountains of Crete;… ~Mary Stewart, THE MOON-SPINNERS
And now a few that are more current. I’ve already quoted one of my favs from NAKED IN DEATH HERE so no repeating it. Instead, some new openings:
Death has nipped at my heels like a disobedient dog since I was fourteen. ~Lori G. Armstrong, BLOOD TIES (the first Julie Collins book)
And one that made me laugh:
There was a dead clown sitting in my living room. Since I wasn’t particularly fond of clowns, and it was way too early for anything coherent to come out of my mouth, I pretended not to notice him. ~Darynda Jones, THIRD GRAVE DEAD AHEAD, Charley Davidson series
Plus one that put me right into the spirit of the novel:
Later she will remember him so: impatient with the waiting, restless feet carrying him back and forth in the grassy space in front of the fountain. She will remember the murmur and splash of fall water, the fragrance of roses, her own heart fluttering against the wall of her chest. ~Kerry Schafer, BETWEEN (Dreamworld series)
And finally, one of my own.
This was only Day One of what was shaping up to be a bloody weird week and the gods had been drinking again. Too bad Sade Marquis didn’t have that option. She was on duty. Dammit. Not to mention it was only ten in the morning. However, if things got any stranger, she might change her mind. ~Silver James, THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC (Penumbra Papers)
Okay, time to share–either the opening of a book that really grabbed your attention or one of your own. Why? Because it’s Wednesday and it’s all about the words. 😀