Ron’s post about hooks intrigues me. I’ve never been good at it; my mother, who has spent much of my writing career convinced I could get on Oprah if only I would write the right book, suggested I go to sleep at night thinking, Hook Hook Hook. All this has done is give me nightmares.
There’s something about a beautiful premise, though–it can be a work of art in itself. And an opening line that contains the promise of that premise…well, now, I bet those writers have happy moms.
As Ron’s pick-up-line analogy implies, it’s a fine line between intriguing and slutty. Here’s a couple openers I like (with apologies for the wonky formatting, but I’ve spent a half hour trying to make it look right and Blogger just won’t let me, clearly as punishment for not listening to my mother):
I am in love with Mr. Lindstrom, my science teacher. I found out where he lives and every night I perch on a tree outside his bedroom window and watch him sleep. He sleeps in his underwear: Fruit of the Loom, size 34.
–Owl in Love, Patrice Kindl
First thing I did was, I stole a body. I could have made my own, but I wasn’t in an artistic frame of mind.
–Repossessed, A.M. Jenkins
The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.
“Need a poo, Todd.”
“Shut up, Manchee.”
“Poo. Poo. Todd.”
–The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness