My topic is opening lines, but not the genre that includes "Are you an alien? "Cause your butt is out of this world!" It's the literary fictional variety I'm considering.
I've been tinkering with my crime novel-in-progress, and one thing I know it needs is a better opening. This started me thinking about great openings. While some writers (perhaps thinking themselves subtle) like to begin softly with a description, others let the reader have it right between the eyes. No, I wasn't thinking of "It was a dark and stormy night."
More something likes Dickens' "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times" or my favourite, from Kafka's Metamorphosis, "One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin". This is a slightly clumsy translation to my ear, but it gets the idea across. Talk about jumping the reader into action, mid-stream. You think you've got problems? Try waking up as a cockroach tomorrow and see how you get treated...
so what's your favourite fictional opening line?
Causes John Oughton Supports
PEN International, Amnesty International, League of Canadian Poets, POR AMOR, Greenpeace