Monday, June 16, 2008

First Sentences, Redux

Last week the lovely Sarah McNeal blogged about beginnings, and the first sentence of each book. Thinking about what to say this week, I decided I'd piggyback off her and share the opening lines to some of my work, and some of my books to read.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - "I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with."

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens - "My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip."

The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner - "
Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting."

I do disagree with Ms. McNeal's statement that stories like these would never sell today. I think the first line is important, true, but not the end all, be all. In fact, it's near impossible to judge a book by its first line. Are we a culture of decreasingly short attention spans? Yep. But I think lovers of books still know the game, so to speak. So here are my first lines:

- "The night air was damp and cool on her bare arms as she approached the flickering light of the bonfire, a distant beacon lighting her way across the field."

Leading Her to Heaven - "
Lady Susanna Cavendish paced her antechamber like a tiger in the London Zoo."

Caging Kat - "
Kat did her best to suppress a groan as she took a quick survey of the ballroom."

Unspeakable - "
The ballroom was insufferably hot, and Trevor's mood, foul to begin with, was worsening rapidly."

Eyes Like Yours - "
The dream is the same night after night, so startlingly vivid that at times I wake convinced it is real."

A Scandalous Arrangement - "
Anna blinked back the tears that clouded her vision and shook her head, trying to banish the thoughts that plagued her."

Woman of the Forest - "
She fled to the forest."

Reckless Liaisons - "
The horse’s hooves beat a clamorous tattoo against the cobbled streets, stirring the low fog that had settled like a blanket."

A Compromising Evening - "
Bloody hell, he was bored."

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