Category Archives: waiting

Do You Have Any Favorite First Sentences? Send Them My Way in the Comments!

In my attempt to improve the first few pages of one novel, today, I had a fun foray with first sentences.  Instead of tearing my hair out and screaming madly because first sentences and pages are so difficult, I looked through numerous books on my shelves and read their first sentences.  I was shocked at how many books, both old and new, begin with the weather.  None of them were bad, mind you, but they weren’t particularly compelling, either.  Here is the one I thought was best (by a modern author):  “Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu” (Waiting, by Ha Jin).  The book, itself, depressed the heck out of me when I read it, but the first sentence is perfect because it sets the tone and subject and characters and creates a conundrum. 

Jane Austen, of course, always wrote hooks into her first sentences or first pages; she may have been the first master of the hook, so I have to mention her in this discussion.  And then I have to giggle at one of my favorite authors, John Mortimer, because the first sentence in my Rumpole Omnibus is an entire paragraph long–and I’m talking about an old-fashioned length paragraph that is dense with words.  Oh, my, what splendid clauses Mortimer is capable of.  Hats off to the man who created Rumpole and She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed!      


Whatever Shall I Do?

I meant what I said on my Female Quixote blog, that I would combine it with my Writing World, that it would be filled with New Mexico and wine and love and Spanish; history and English and poetry and faraway places. My problem is this: I am faraway right now. I’m in a waiting period in my busy life. That is, I’m waiting for many things, but I’m still busily plodding along in my ox-like manner. Meanwhile, I’m agitated and unfocused and having difficulty writing blog posts. What am I waiting for, you ask? I won’t distress you with the particulars of my life. I’ll only tell you that, as far as my writing world, I’m waiting on a full manuscript that I have out with an agent, and I’m waiting for the next piece of magic to inspire me to write a new book, aside from my noir, a new book like the last one that will carry me through a year and a half on continuous writing and revision.

I need a plan; really, I do. I need a good plan, one that I’m able to stick with, lest I lose what little readership I have. I will think on this and try to find a plan that is workable.

Thanks for stopping by.