Thursday, August 28, 2008

Opening the Door on Your Story

This past Sunday, I blogged about the opening lines of novels and asked readers to give the first two (or three) sentences from a work of their own, either published or unpublished. I got some great examples.

Next Thursday, an expert on openings is going to be the guest blogger on Straight From Hel. Current president of National Sisters in Crime and author of two mystery series, Roberta Isleib, is going to talk about openings. Isleib writes the Cassandra Burdette Golf Mystery series and the Dr. Rebecca Butterman Advice Columnist Mystery Series, plus she posts on two blogs – her own and Jungle Red Writers. She’ll not only be talking about openings, she’ll give examples from her own works.

In the meantime, what do you think makes the opening couple of sentences in a novel “good”? You might also have an example of a great opening (one-three sentences) of someone else’s work that you’d like to share. And if you didn’t post an example from your work last Sunday, feel free to do so now in the Comments section.

Then come back next Thursday, September 4, and help me welcome author Roberta Isleib on her blog tour stop at Straight From Hel .


  1. I don't need a hook in the opening lines per se...just engaging writing!

  2. A hook can be just that -- engaging writing will "hook" your reader and keep them reading. And a hook can come within the first few sentences or within the first chapter. Doesn't have to be some big event like a murder.

  3. I'll definitely be back next Thursday, I'd like to get an expert's opinion on this subject. BTW, that post where you asked for readers' opening two sentences, I did not tell you what genre the book was in, and you posted a responding comment wondering about that. The opening two sentences from my book, Owen Fiddler, being- "His first thought was that he had to puke. Right now." Owen Fiddler is a spiritual/inspirational novel. And your copy should be in your mailbox any day now. {-:>

  4. Kathleen Walls8/28/2008 4:53 PM

    Great blog. As a writer I love the information. Also as one who deals in words your "Straight from Hel" is the topper.

  5. I am looking forward to reading Owen Fiddler, Marvin. I should have known it was spiritual/inspirational!

  6. Thank you very much, Kathleen. I really appreciate that.


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