Monday, January 16, 2012

Taking a new class

I am taking a new class. Its called "KILLER OPENINGS" BY Alexa Bourne.
This makes me stop and think about my own writing, as any class should do. I wonder if what I have done is good enough? Did I write something that will catch the reader and pull them into the world that I have created?

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, but in all reality you can. Most people pick a book off the shelves because that is what grabbed their attention; the cover.  Other times they automatically go for a book by their favorite author.

But let's say a friend recommended a book to you by an author you had never heard of before. You trust their judgement, so you pick it up and look at it. That author only has one page to draw you in. Maybe even only the first line.  So what they write must make the reader want to keep reading. The author needs to be able to pull you into the story so that you want to turn the page. 

Some say the end of the book is hard to write and others think the middle of the book is the hardest thing to write, but I think we all agree that finding that killer opening can be just as difficult.

What I want to know is what draws you into the book in that killer opening. Is it dialog? Is it the description of where the scene is or who the people are? What makes you want to keep reading that book and turning it's pages?  Maybe give us an example of an opening that blew you away.

Thanks for being with me here today and here's to hoping the next book you read knocks your socks off.

Have a great week!!!


  1. It's hard to say for me. Sometimes it's dialogue, sometimes it's a setting, and sometimes it's an action sequence. Most times, I'll keep reading and give in a chance to pull me in. But it's always something in the dialogue, the description, or the action that makes me feel like I'm right there, as a part of it. I rarely give up on the first page.

  2. I like something unexpected in the first few lines, something that hints at conflict to come and makes me ask, "What's going on here?" I think my all-time favorite opening line is from Sandra Brown's novel, Sunset Embrace: Why did God make it so painful to die?

  3. Hey, Sarah! I think the biggest thing I learned when putting this class together was that every single part of a story is important. I mean, I know that, but it really sunk in when I was thinking about Killer Openings.

  4. I don't know, Sarah. I would guess it is the author's style and knowledge of the craft. One thing I've noticed after all of the classes and rejections is once you start learning how a story is supposed to be written, what is supposed to be in it and what is not, it changes the way you perceive a story whether it is in book form, movie or television show. Sometimes I am sad that they don't live up to my expectations.

  5. Love killer openings...still trying to write them! Thanks for the info.