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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.
Inspiration (for [21 Quest])
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.
||// 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.
||Paragraph, opening, hook what say you we include it on the cover?
||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.
||And put the last paragraph on the back cover. I'll
never have to read a damn book again.
||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
||Another starts out with something like: Parker
couldn't answer the phone, because he was killing
a guy in his garage when it rang.