The hardest sentence for me to write on my blog is the first one. The words that are chosen for the first sentence either hooks readers or looses them. They need to be unusual or unexpected or somehow arresting. I struggle with choosing the words for the first sentence. Sometimes the first sentence is the last one I write. I write it and write it and pretty much edit it to death!
In thinking about opening sentences for my blog, I began to think about the opening sentences in books. If you had to chose a book by the opening sentence what would interest you? How about this one? "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Would that draw you in? Evidently it's a good sentence. Thousands have read and enjoyed Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Just for something fun to do, I randomly picked ten books from my bookshelf and from the library and made a list of first sentences.
1. Katherine was going to die.
2. I like to begin walks on the bridge at One Mile
3. Valen, Lord St. Evert, stood at the foot of his father's bed, clutching one of the massive posts.
4. I don't like to lose Eve.
5. The first thing Gwen Foster noticed was the man's angry scowl.
6. The air smelled of apples, and the orchard hummed with the sound of bees hovering over the bushels of harvested fruit.
7. July heat hung over the yard like a blanket.
8. Peter Matthew Morgan stood at the counter picking up his things.
9. You're looking very well, Mrs. Merritt.
10. A funeral always made for a bad day.
Which of these first sentences intrigues you enough to want to read the book? Choose one and then check the list below to find out which book it came from.
1. The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd
2. Poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge
3. Cut From The Same Cloth by Kathleen Baldwin
4. Night and Day by Iris Johansen
5. Sunday Kind of Love by Dorothy Garlock
6. The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs
7. Comanche Magic by Catherine Anderson
8. Ransom by Danielle Steel
9. Exclusive by Sandra Brown
10. Falling Awake by Jayne Ann Krentz
There's a story about some of the books in the list. Mr. H found about four boxes of books that someone had dumped on a trail near our house. They were mostly in good shape, so I brought them home. There were several I knew I'd read. The rest were donated to the library's used book sale and the Salvation Army. I can't imagine why someone would just dump books. There are so many places to donate them! I was thankful that Mr. H. found them before it rained. Between those books and the library I haven't bought a book in a long time.
So, what do you look for when you choose a book to read; a pretty cover, a catchy title, a gripping summary, a well-known author, OR the first sentence?
If you have a moment, write in the comment section which first sentence in my list intrigued you. If I were given the list and had to choose a book to read from it, I would chose #6, because I do love nature. It sounds like a good book to read with fall right around the corner. I haven't read it yet, but it's next in line. Right now I'm reading #5 Dorothy Garlock's Sunday Kind Of Love. I enjoy her books. She writes historical fiction which is my favorite. Her books are easy to read, have good dialog which is important to me, and characters that are real and developing. I think Dorothy Garlock describes her books very well, "I'm just a storyteller and like homey, down-to-earth characters, everyday people who have everyday problems and solve their problems with dignity. I'm not trying to give them a history lesson, I just want to entertain, if for a little while." I've read all of her books and what she says is true.