Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Great way to start a novel

leave a comment »

Good novels are good all the way through, including the opening paragraph:

The Whistling Season (Doig, Ivan)

When I visit the back corners of my life again after so long a time, littlest things jump out first. The oilcloth, tiny blue windmills on white squares, worn to colorless smears at our four places at the kitchen table. Our father’s pungent coffee, so strong it was almost ambulatory, which he gulped down from suppertime until bedtime and then slept serenely as a sphinx. The pesky wind, the one element we could count on at Marias Coulee, whistling into some weather-cracked cranny of this house as if invited in. . .

The Kindle format is designed to support/encourage impulse purchases. (“If you want a horse to jump a fence, make the fence as low as possible” — from Getting to Yes — and I’ll add “and it helps even more if you make jumping the fence look inviting in prospect and enjoyable in the experience.”) Read a review, bought the book: elapsed time < 1 minute. But still, I think it’s going to be good. Do you get that from the opening paragraph? (I’m sure that statistically it is the most-labored-upon paragraph in the book, with second place going to the last paragraph (for those who read the ending in deciding whether to buy the book—I know you’re out there. So the residue of all that work is revealing, but I never read the ending at any place than that which the author (strongly) indicated: at the end )

Written by LeisureGuy

29 August 2018 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Books, Memes, Writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.