He had decided that, yes, it was possible to become acclimated to hell.
How's that for an opening sentence?
I have no story to follow up that sentence, however.
I must apologize for the amount of time between posts, and the fact that these long gaps will continue.
I am now working 5 10-hour days each week. This is the real-life reference to that opening sentence above. This is not my idea.
When my employer declared we had to devote an additional ten hours of our lives to work every week, there are things that must be sacrificed. In my case it is exercise and writing. And if I'm writing this blog, then I'm not writing my fantasy novel.
Also, I'm still working on finding a publisher for Saving Atlantis. Every publisher and every agent wants the query/submission to be a little different from the others, so it's not feasible to develop a template and just change the name of the recipient and send the same thing. Each query must be different and tailored for that specific market. And that takes time.
Back to opening sentences and/or paragraphs.
I'm going to blow my own horn just a bit. After all, it's my horn. Who will blow it if I don't?
Anne R. Allen's writing blog devoted an entire post to opening sentences. It impressed on me the importance of that first sentence or paragraph, but I think I did a pretty fair job before reading that. The importance of those opening words is to grab the readers' interest right away and make them want to read more.
I like to think I did that with Prophecy of Honor: "The funeral fires were still smoldering, but after four days the flames were no longer visible within the blackened collapsed pyres. My anger, with the flames, had subsided but still simmered within."
Who died? How many—obviously many since there were pyres. Why? No doubt the why is connected with the narrator's anger. We need to find out more.
That was my goal. I like to think I succeeded at least a little.
With Witchery I tried a different tactic...well, I stole one, really. In popular television shows like Law and Order or NCIS, they introduce the episode by revealing the crime with a witness that has no other role in the story. I did that. I introduced the plot—the conflict—with a woman bearing witness to the aftermath of a terrible crime:
"If you live long enough to be a grandmother, you don't ignore your instincts." That sentence tells the readers that in this world, living long enough to be a grandparent is not something taken for granted. Old age is not too often the cause of death. Then the third paragraph begins with, "She could smell the blood even from thirty paces away."
My hope is that any reader is going to want to know about the violence she will discover in a moment, and then the story will pull them along from that point.
That opening scene was the last thing I finished in that story. I must have tried a dozen different openings before I finally got something that I felt did what I wanted it to do.
Witchery is the only one of my four published novels written in third person, and that is mostly an omniscient third—the thoughts and desires and fears of the characters, even those many days' travel apart, are revealed.
Prophecy of Honor and Witchery are fantasy books. Witchery is, in fact, a great example of what is labelled "high fantasy." They are both stories of action, decisions, striving, and violence, and the opening lines reflect that.
The two Just Lucky books comprise a story that is partly romance, partly coming of age, partly adult fiction, and partly derived from true events. As such, an opening sentence implying violence would not be appropriate. I needed to entice the reader to want more information by offering something unusual. I included a Forward that explains why this tale is being told in first person. In Prophecy of Honor I did the same, but the reason was given at the very end.
The first chapter after the Forward is titled "Curse". And the first line is: "My sophomore year in college I met a young lady who saw things before they happened." I hope that will intrigue readers enough to keep reading.
A good ending is also important, and much of that is knowing when the story...or the blog entry...is finished. Which is now.
Thank you for reading. I'm sorry to say it will probably be as long before the next entry, but I will try to do better.
Stay well, and well-read.