says this is more important than sleep . . . the first line for Frankie’s book. It came to me when I was tossing and turning and waking up the dog. It’s as important (to me) as the title of the book and the name of the main character when it comes to getting started.
I know….I should be thinking Rachel, verse poems, and finishing revisions. But there he was, hiding, and the line came to me and I knew I was seeing the opening scene to Frankie’s book. One doesn’t turn away gifts such as these.
Of course I wish the ASPCA would answer my request for information about a situation so I would know what to do with another scene. And then, sometime in the way dark middle of the night, I wondered if Frankie really had a sister at all. Whoa – now that shocked me even more awake. Last thing I remember before I grabbed an hour’s nap was wondering why someone who lived in such a fancy house was stealing food.
First sentences are vital. I spend a lot of time obsessing about mine, too. It should have just the right tone, just the right piece of character, just the right hook. . . I can spend hours trying different combinations of words – but that flash of inspiration. Ah, that’s when things start to work. 🙂
Yes, obsessing, that would be me. And I can play with openings over and over again but almost always the ones that get used are the ones that come to me in a flash of inspiration. The best one came from sitting in the dentist’s chair trying not to think about the drill coming at me. 😉
First sentences and titles…
I can’t start without them. I also like to think I know the ending, but I never do. And then, once I get there, I realize I didn’t know the beginning either. I always rewrite that perfect first sentence…
Re: First sentences and titles…
For me, the first sentence is like the spark that makes car engine start. Endings, oh my, I rarely know them. What I usually know is the feeling I want my main character to have by the end of the book and then I hope I am working toward that point.
But what is it???? All this teasing and you don’t give us your first sentence.
I never know mine. I’m never sure what my story is really about for some time. I go back into it and add and drop. Eventually I kind of figure it out and go back to write the beginning again. This is where my theme makes it’s way into the first poem, or the first sentence.
I guess I should know what the book is all about before I begin writing. But I barely do. Send Frankie my way to whisper in my ear so I’ll know which way to go. My characters only talk to me as I’m physically writing out the words they say. Then they take over. If only they would let me know ahead of time which direction they’d like to take….
I’ll email you the sentence.