The opening to any book is crucial. Some leading sentences are iconic and memorable, while others are straightforward and simple. Regardless of what it says, I believe that an opening sentence sets the tone for the rest of book, (think Great Expectations or Pride and Prejudice). Capturing that tone is so important that authors will spend hours, days, weeks, etc. perfecting it.
Case in point: I’ve rewritten my 1st Chapter 7 times over the course of 2 years. I made 4 attempts at starting that 7th version, and even then couldn’t find the right words. After a long period of sitting, staring, and going cross-eyed, I spotted it! Somewhere in the middle of that 4th attempt at version 7, I found a sentence that was usable but still needed work. Words had to be rearranged or thrown out; some were outright butchered. Red ink covered the pages. Many pieces of paper were harmed.
But I think at the end of the battle, I found the right words and put them in the right order. It’s moments like that when writers feel a sense of accomplishment– the moment when words sing like notes in a harmonious melody.
So, in honor of the all-important opening sentence, I’ve decided to share the first paragraph of The Dark Matter Chronicles. I’d love to hear what you guys think:
The leaves of the vine laced everything, including the columns of the black gothic domed structure and the massive white sundial that stood beneath it. They emanated their odd colors so intensely that he was convinced they were glowing. Alexander had never seen violet, indigo and blue leaves dispersed amongst red, orange, yellow and green ones—and not just on the vines—the black trees of the thick forest seen in every direction through the columns were a splattering of color as well. They rustled playfully as a warm, sweet breeze caressed them.
Is it a compelling opening that makes you want to read more? What are some of your favorite opening sentences?
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