If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:
read a lot and write a lot. ~ Stephen King
I do both.
What follows are some of my favorite opening lines.
Can you name the titles of the books?
(See answers below!)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
“Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.”
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
“As a boy, I dreamed of fishing before I went, and went fishing before I caught anything, and knew fishermen before I became one.”
“I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.”
“Elspeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup.”
“Riding up the winding road of St. Agnes Cemetery in the back of the rattling old truck, Francis Phelan became aware that the dead, even more than the living, settled down in neighborhoods.”
“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was 14 when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”
“Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before.”
“It happens that I am going through a period of great unhappiness and loss just now. All my life I’ve heard people speak of finding themselves in acute pain, bankrupt in spirit and body, but I’ve never understood what they meant.”
“They’re all dead now.”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
Back When We Were Grownupsby Anne Tyler (2001)
The Go-Betweenby L. P. Hartley (1953)
Lines in the Water by David Adams Richards (1998)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2005)
Her Fearful Symmetryby Audrey Niffenegger (2009)
Ironweed by William Kennedy (1979)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (2002)
Unlessby Carol Shields (2002)
Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie McDonald (1996)
A Tale of Two Citiesby Charles Dickens (1859)
If you have any favorite opening lines, please share. Would love to read them! Might even read the whole book!
A FREE SHORT STORY for you when you subscribe to my Author Newsletter! Simply put your first name and your email address in the space provided on the upper right.
Are you a reader? I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I read for many reasons: escape, meditation, knowledge, meaning, and pure love of story. What follows are some quotes about the love of reading, most of which came from two great sites: Search Quotesand Quote Garden.
For the Love of Reading…
Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere. ~ Mary Schmich
To read a book for the first time is to make and acquaintance with a new friend; to read if for a second time is to meet an old one. ~ Chinese Saying
I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve. ~ Charles De Montesquieu
The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. ~ Rene Descartes
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. ~ George R.R. Martin
A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint…. what I began by reading, I must finish by acting. ~ Henry David Thoreau
I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. ~ Malcolm X
To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. ~ John Andrew Holmes
The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it give you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination. ~ Elizabeth Hardwick
If you read a good book, you’ve got a friend for life. ~ My nephew, Matthew, at age nine.
Are you a reader? What is special about reading for you? What books are you springing into right now?
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My best to you,
P. S. If you can read this, thank a teacher. ~ Harry S. Truman
Word Vancouver(formerly known as The Word on the Street Vancouver) is Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading. It has free events taking place over five days (September 25- 29) in Vancouver at: Carnegie Community Centre, Banyen Books & Sound, Historic Joy Kogawa House, and Library Square.
Last year I participated as a volunteer at the Federation ofBC Writers table and took in all the sights and sounds of the main festival day on Sunday. This year? I’m attending on Saturday and presenting a workshop: Honing the Craft of Writing through Story Contests.
WORKSHOP DETAILS: Where: Vancouver Public Library
350 W. Georgia Street, Vancouver
Alma Van Dusen Room When:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Synopsis: What is it like to compete in a story contest? In her Power Point presentation, Honing the Craft of Writing through Story Contests, award-winning author, Annie Daylon, talks about the story contest experience and how it can help to sharpen writing skills. Topics include: reasons for entering, availability of contests, types of contests (24-hour, themed, no theme), meeting deadlines, and giving the editors, publishers and judges what they are looking for. Information on contests in Canada and the U.S. is provided.
My workshop is one of six Word Vancouver workshops taking place at the Vancouver library on Saturday, September 28th. The others are:
An Introduction to Storywith Nancy Lee
Poetry and Relevancewith Heather Duff
Creating Content for Social Sharingwith Lisa Manfield
Finding Work: First Steps-Next Steps A Workshop for Freelance Writerswith Colin Moorhouse
A Literary Agent’s Take on Book Publishing Today from an Author’s Perspectivewith Robert Mackwood.