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Put the first paragraph on the cover

Better bookshop browsing
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Fiction writers are often judged on the draw of their first paragraph; in those first few lines, is the reader already gripped by the narrative?

Meanwhile, it has become near impossible to judge a book by its cover, whether daubed with cynically paraphrased reviews or almost entirely obscured by the author's name – I want to know, will I be engrossed by this book in one glance?

Indeed, I miss picking something up and thinking: "Yes, this looks like my kind of thing." So why not print the book's opening on the front? In an alluring font, perhaps. It can still be incorporated into an image, it doesn't have to be overbearing, nor black on white. Just unobtrusively there.

Just a thought.

theleopard, Sep 18 2013

Inspiration (for [21 Quest]) http://www.dailywri...com/the-first-page/
Literary agents judge a manuscript by it's first paragraph (unless the author is already established), so it better be good... [theleopard, Sep 18 2013]


       Would like to see this for "Molloy". [EDIT], oh no, it is the second paragraph that's a million pages long. Bugger.
calum, Sep 18 2013

       // Fiction writers are often judged on the draw of their first paragraph //   

       It's called 'the hook', and those who employ it well do so in the first line. It's not a neccesity, as [Quest] points out, as there are plenty of stories that build up rather than starting out with a bang. For those who do like to use the hook, myself included, taking a whole paragraph to lay it down is a bit much.
Alterother, Sep 18 2013

       Paragraph, opening, hook – what say you we include it on the cover?
theleopard, Sep 18 2013

       Maxwell Buchanan lit a cigarette and leaned back against the trunk of a pear tree. It was remarkably comfortable, not least because an early 18th century furniture maker had had the foresight and consideration to bring it indoors, fashion it into a balloon-back chair and upholster the seat deeply in burgundy velvet, which could still be seen through holes in the pink damasque, Edwardian stripe, gold velveteen and charcoal polyester with which successively less adept odd-job men had re-covered it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 18 2013

       And put the last paragraph on the back cover. I'll never have to read a damn book again.
r_kreher, Sep 18 2013

       When the helicopter swept northward and lifted out of sight over the top of the hill, Parker stepped away from the tree he'd waited behind and continued his climb. Whatever was on the other side of this hill had to be better than the dogs down there at the foot of the slope behind him, running around and straining at their leashes, finding his scent, starting up. He couldn't see the bottom of the hill any more, the police cars congregated around his former Dodge rental in the diner parking lot, but he didn't need to. The excited yelp of the dogs was enough.   

       1st p From :"Ask the Parrot" by Richard Stark aka Donald Westlake   

       Another starts out with something like: Parker couldn't answer the phone, because he was killing a guy in his garage when it rang.
popbottle, Jan 05 2014


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