Saturday, July 14, 2018
Welcome, everyone. There was an improvisational comedy show (1998 – 2004 or so) that always cracked me up. I thought it was the best exercise in creativity that I’d ever seen. It was “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochrie could take any “line” and work hilarious magic.
Those guys created characters, scenes, and songs on the spot, based on a line they were given. Yet here I am… I already have the characters and scenes, sometimes even a song — all I need is that line… That illusive opening line!
Why should that be so difficult? Horsefeathers! It’s worse than dating, or meeting the CEO of a big company for the first time. I struggle with the opening line for days weeks forever. Then I wonder how important it actually was.
Today I thought I’d share what I came up with for my Atonement, Tennessee series. For the first book I began the prologue with this: Dawn’s light cast shadows that shifted amid branches of magnolia and mountain laurel, and danced upon statuary and grave stones.
However, my wrongly wired brain complained, that was the prologue! Did that qualify as the opening line? So, I struggled all over again with a line for Chapter 1. It’s hard to sound all fancy-dancy when writing in first person so that was even harder. I finally settled on this: I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, ready to savor the moment.
Of course, when I started writing book-2, I went through all that self-torment again. Worse, I needed to be consistent and keep the magical prologue. That meant I would go through that double wringer again for Atonement in Bloom. The prologue begins: Lilith sat bathed in moonlight atop the stone wall, watching small bats dart about, high overhead.
Then Ralda Lawton, takes over as narrator. Chapter-1 starts like this: It had seen better days, but who hadn’t?
If I don’t enjoy writing that opening line, then what is my favorite line to write? “The end.” Naturally I enjoy writing every line in between. It’s just that the first one’s a doozy.
Frankly, I’ll never be satisfied with an opening line. So, I’m going to focus on the positive. Even though it’s been a few years since I published “Atonement” I still get excited about lovely reviews. I’m downright giddy because recently it has gotten two! Romance author, Jacquie Biggar posted a review from her blog.
Author of mystery and suspense, Mae Clair posted this review at Amazon.
Like odd? Like quirky with a generous dollop of magical realism and whimsy thrown in? Then you’re going to love the little town of Atonement, Tennessee and the people (and others) who populate it. Vividly imagined, this is a light but intriguing tale filled with eccentric characters and imaginative plot lines. The shifting narrative between the main character, Esmeralda, and her cat, Lilith (told in 3rd person POV) works surprising well. A truly delightful and “magical” story!
By the way, Mae and Jacquie both have new releases. Be sure to visit their blogs to learn more!
If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment. Also, do you have a favorite opening line from a book you love? Leave that in a comment too. I love to hear from you.
Here’s my own shameless self-promotion…
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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