Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Distractions, and Opening Lines

Last week I made my way to Borders (again). It's wasn't my usual store, but one that is scheduled to close. I hate to see any bookstore close, but I couldn't pass up the savings.

And this is what I came home with:

How will I ever manage to read all of these AND write, too? I just finished the Vampire Academy series a couple of days ago. I'm still a little breathless from it. And have I mentioned how this series put the brakes on my writing? I haven't? Well, let's just say I haven't written anything in several weeks. I may have to have a few words with Richelle Mead when I meet her in Dallas next weekend. (What? I haven't mentioned that, either? Well, I'm going to the Dreamin' in Dallas conference. It's my first conference and I'm so excited!)

I'm forcing myself to stay away from the new books, at least until I finish this outline. But they're just sitting there, taunting me. It's almost as bad as having to stare at my favorite chocolate cake and not eat it.

I think I may have found a compromise, though. I've been thinking a lot about openings lately, particularly first sentences. I let myself read the first line of each new book, and they are exactly what first lines should be. They grab the reader, set the mood, and give a hint of what's to come.

Here's a little challenge for you. Below are the first lines from each book in the picture. Can you guess which opening goes with which book?

1. The day begins in the middle of the night.

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl of high school standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.

3. Someday you will beg for the honor of licking my feet. (I loved this one!)

4. This whole enormous deal wouldn't have happened, none of it, if Dad hadn't messed up his hip moving the manure spreader.

5. I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.

6. You're either someone or you're not.

7. "Just be yourself," my mother said, as if that were easy.

8. Janie Hannagan's math book slips from her fingers.

9. Everyone knows I'm perfect.

10. I used to be someone.

Some are easier to guess than others, but when you consider what each book is about you realize that the first line really does its job.

And now I'm off to agonize over my first lines. Again.


  1. The only one I know is Shiver...which is great!!! And, please tell Richelle that she messed up my writing schedule too! I finished the series last night and I'm sad. I want to keep reading about Rose and Dimitri. I don't care about the others...I want her to take them to Russia and see what happens. And, I'm sad how things ended with Adrian...I get his reaction, but I wanted it all to be okay. Oh well.
    I'm at the end of my wip right now, well, the end of the middle. I'm thinking that I shouldn't start anything new either. However, I can't stand not reading anything!

  2. I know! I am STILL thinking about them. (In fact, I'm ready to reread the entire series.) And I'm dying to start reading another book. I want to reread The Mortal Instruments series so I'll be fresh when the next one comes out. BUT, I really need to get to work. This thing won't write itself. :)

  3. Shiver impressed me...a surprise since I just picked it up because I felt out of touch with the kids I work with. They are 14, I am 26, and we are so, so different. But yes, I really enjoyed Shiver!