Friday, June 19, 2009

Better late than never...

Finally got my copy of Writer's Digest - only 2 weeks after one of my friends received hers and we only live 2 zip codes away.

I was shocked to learn that according to Les Edgerton's article in the magazine on openings, that one should not start a book/short story with dialogue. (I disagree) The reasoning is that the reader knows nothing about the characters who are speaking.

But then one of the literary agents interviewed used an example that she liked and guess what??? It opened with dialogue. So I'm not going to stress. The rest of the article I agreed with like not starting with a dream. Agree completely.

So I thought I'd shared some of my own opening lines...

"Miss, we need to see your credentials."
from Playing For Keeps

"Why him?" Victoria tossed the head shot of Russ Rowland onto the conference room table.
from work in progress Love By Design

Can a twenty-five dollar wager change your life?
from the Biggest Loser (short story)published on the Long and Short Of It website.

The heat was bearable, the pain was bearable, but the bugs, Christ, the bugs.
from Scent - unfinished but 6th place finish in the HVRWA Hook, Line, and Sinker contest

Jimmy shut his watering eyes against the reek of tobacco and split gin.
from Eight Ball Lover - unfinished and under the bed

Spence peered through his rain-spotted glasses, nearly missing the sign carved in the wooden post. from Annie Get Your Pitchfork - unfinished and under the bed

4 comments:

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

When I read your post, my first instinct was to agree with you - of course you can start with dialogue. But I decided to look through my library for examples of novels that began with dialogue. I was only able to find one out of about a hundred volumes (it was War and Peace in case you were wondering). I don't know if there is a valid structural reason for not starting a novel with dialogue, but it sounds like until you have a couple of books on the bestseller list, it is probably one of those things to go along with just to not seem like an amateur to an agent or publisher.

Liz said...

Very interesting, thanks Chad

Allie Boniface said...

I remember reading Annie Get Your Pitchfork for one of our local's contests, right?? I loved it -- why is it under the bed??

Allie Boniface said...

I remember reading Annie Get Your Pitchfork for one of our local's contests, right?? I loved it -- why is it under the bed??