Hooking the Reader: Opening Lines that Sell
Morris Publishing, July, 2001.
Paperback, 215 pages.
Ordering information: Amazon.com
Beginning writers are often told to open with a bang. But how do you come up with that killer opening line? This writing book focuses on creating effective openings. The book contains advice from hundreds of authors, as well as the opening sentences from their books. Some of the authors featured include Anne McCaffrey, Stuart Woods, Michael Connelly, Poul Anderson, Dana Stabenow and Larry Niven. The book also includes "Off the Shelf" sections, which contains lists of good openings to books. Some example openings are "I felt compelled to report that at the moment of my death, my entire life did not pass before my eyes in a flash," from Sue Grafton's I is for Innocent; "For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in town," from Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic; "Nobody thinks about death on a nice spring day," from Ed McBain's Ten Plus One; and "The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted," from Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. The most interesting part about the book is what each author has to say, which is often enlightening and entertaining. Hooking the Reader is an interesting and useful book for writers needing assistance with writing openings or just curious about how other authors create openings to their bestsellers.
Reprinted with permission from The Internet Writing Journal®.
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