Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WALK-IN WEDNESDAY

I have just discovered Teaser Tuesday thanks to Just Listen Book Reviews - where I also discovered some great reviews and a teaser for Penni Russon's Undine that has me hooked. Tuesdays are the day for opening your current book at a random page and quoting a few teaser sentences. Whose brilliant idea was that I would like to know!

Unfortunately I discovered this on Wednesday. So tonight I am doing a variation on the theme and inventing my own Walk-in Wednesday. I love the beginning paragraph of books - where I walk-in to the story and decide whether I'm going to hang around for the whole narrative. It's also my favourite part of the writing process and often my preferred piece in anything I write. When I started to write for children I learned that the first paragraph has to grab the editor regardless of what the rest of the manuscript holds because research has shown primary readers make their decision whether to continue reading right then and there. Adults and YA will allow a bit more latitude - if they think a story is slow but a friend has recommended it they'll continue on a bit longer in case it improves.

So here if the first paragraph of the book I am currently reading and it's brilliant. From Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book:

There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately.

The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.

On a different day I might quote one of my first paragraphs but I'm not silly enough to follow on after that wonderful beginning.

2 comments:

The Book Chook said...

Have you read any other Gaiman? I read The Sandman but I don't think I was smart enough to totally understand it, and what i did understand depressed me!

SANDY said...

This is my first Neil Gaiman and I'm definitely going to read some more! But I don't think I'll strat with The Sandman...

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