Back in September I had a tarot card reading. Some of the predictions came to pass, others I would venture to say were “misinterpreted.” (When you spend $40 on that sort of frivolity, rationalizing is a great skill.)
So I went to The Observation Deck and asked the cards what they needed us to know during our BIAW. The card I pulled advised: Study opening lines.
From the book:
You have a world of powerful teachers sitting on the bookshelves in your house right now. Pick up a favorite book and look at the opening lines. Who is speaking? How does the book begin? What has the author done to draw you in? How does the opening relate to the end of the story?
But if you’re not at the start of your book, perhaps today you’ll start a new scene or a chapter. If you close your eyes and imagine your character, what is the first thing out of his or her mouth? What is she or he thinking in that moment in time? What do they see? Are they touching something or someone? Write it down.
This is my unedited, off-the-cuff opening of chapter 24 of my WIP:
Dori walked up the front door of Starbucks on the corner of F and Fifth streets. Her fingers wrapped around the door handle and as if she were in a dream, she slowly opened the door and the smell of coffee wrapped around her, drawing her in. She blinked and then saw her, the mother of the woman she’d shot and killed three weeks ago waiting at a table by the window.
It might be rewritten. It might become scene two of chapter 26 in the final draft or I may cut the scene all together. (These things happen.) But after writing that paragraph, I have to find out what Dori will say when she walks up to that woman’s table. Will she say, “hi, how are you?” or will she sit down? I don’t yet know but I can’t wait to find out.
What are your first lines today?