Tag Archives: The Storm and the Darkness

The Opening Line: How Do You Make It Memorable?

OO is for Opening Line

The Opening Line—probably the most important sentence you will write. Unlike the writers of the past, the modern writer in this fast-paced world needs to grab the reader’s attention as quickly as possible or risk losing the reader altogether.

What makes a good opening line?

Hmm…

In all the books I’ve read on the craft of writing, I don’t recall reading about the formula to writing a memorable opening line. If you know it, please do tell.

After analyzing some of my favorite opening lines, there doesn’t seem to be a  common thread that runs through each of them. They are all different. Some are long (A Tale of Two Cities) and some are surprisingly short (A Christmas Carol). What is it about these opening lines that make them so memorable?

My favorite opening lines contained at least one of the following:

• Imagery
• Contrast
• Intrigue
• Unique voice
• Compelling Mental Picture
• Sarcasm
• Shock
• Fear
• Dialogue

Imagery

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Contrast

“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, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Intrigue

“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.” The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Unique Voice

“You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.” The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Compelling Mental Picture

“On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.” The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

Shock

“Marley was dead, to begin with.” A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Sarcasm

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Fear

“Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.” The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Dialogue

And this one comes from our very own Sarah M. Cradit:

“‘All I’m saying is, Deliverance was based on a true story.’” The Storm and the Darkness by Sarah M. Cradit

 

What do you think makes a good opening line? What is your favorite opening line?

Here is a link to more famous opening lines from Wikiquote.

To see what other A to Z participants are blogging about this month, please click here to link to their blogs.

 

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Beyond Darkness: Shattered, A New Novella by Sarah M. Cradit

The long anticipated novella sequel to The Storm and the Darkness is now available across most major online retailers!

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Coming Soon: Itunes, Sony, Diesel

Anasofiya Deschanel fled to Maine to escape her mistakes. She learned quickly, and violently, you cannot run from what’s inside you.

Following a series of unfortunate events, Ana finds herself drowning in the consequences of actions which left her heart cruelly divided between the St. Andrews brothers. Jon’s embrace of darkness soon turns to dangerous cruelty, while Finn’s kind heart offers a promise of love she does not feel she deserves. Between all three of them lies a secret with the potential to change everything.

When the truth comes crashing down, Ana is forced to face the same demons she once ran from. As she learns more about who she is, and the situation she’s created, these realizations drive her to a desperate decision that will change everyone’s lives, forever.

Character Teasers

finnteaser_shattered anateaser_shattered jonteaser_shattered

The House of Crimson and Clover

The Sullivans, a family of hard-working Irish lawyers, came from nothing and built a life they can be proud of. The Deschanels amassed incredible wealth by siding with the North during the Civil War, betraying their people. Both New Orleans families have a dark and rich history, painted with secrets, treachery, and colorful, supernatural abilities.

The House of Crimson and Clover unravels the mysteries surrounding both families, pulling us further into their tangled, enigmatic lives.

While the series is meant to be treated as one long narrative, each book can stand alone and be enjoyed without having read the other books. I’ve created pages for each of the books in the series, with story descriptions and other info.

Recommended Reading Order:

Series Prequel- St. Charles at Dusk

Book 0.5- Beyond Dusk: Anne

Book 1- The Storm and the Darkness

Book 1.5- Beyond Darkness: Shattered

Book 2- The Illusions of Eventide

Book 2.5- Beyond Eventide: Bound

(More on the horizon…)

Also, read what reviewers are saying about The House of Crimson & Clover

Birthday Sale!

This is a “twofer” people! A gift to the author (birthday girl) by purchasing her books and a gift to you in your enjoyment of two fantastic reads! All for only 99 cents each! What are you waiting for? Happy birthday Sarah!

...and then there was Sarah

In honor of my birthday (which is tomorrow), I am running a 5 day sale from July 30-Aug 5. BOTH of my books will be just .99 cents for those 5 days. While Dusk is permanently set at .99, this price on Darkness will not last long at all.

Please help me spread the word by reblogging, posting, pasting, tweeting, etc. The best birthday weekend ever would be to wake up next week and welcome new fans into the fold. If they’re as great as all of you, then I will be blessed indeed 🙂

Birthday Sale

Price adjustments are good only on Amazon and Barnes and Nobe.

BN: http://bit.ly/12ClvWx
Amazon: http://amzn.to/16cNVrc

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