Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Don't Forget the Giveaway...and More About First Sentences

Remember, any comment on a post at this blog through Saturday midnight (U.S. Mountain Time) is an entry in my giveaway for a 2013 Northern Colorado Writers writing planner. The details are here.

I decided it was time to do another round of first sentences from fiction, this time from the five books I have checked out from the library.

The first is from the book I just read, Stay Close, another top notch mystery by Harlan Coben.

Sometimes, in that split second when Ray Levine snapped a picture and lost the world in the strobe from his flashbulb, he saw the blood.

Next is the book I'm reading now, The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. This first sentence begins the Prologue:

Some scents sparkle and then quickly disappear, like the effervescence of citrus zest or a bright note of mint.

 Robison Wells begins his Harper Teen novel, Variant, with these words:

"This isn't one of those scare-you-straight schools, is it?" I asked Ms. Vaughn, as we passed through the heavy chain-link gate.

Angels of Vengeance by John Birmingham gets the prize for the longest sentence in today's selections:

Staff Sergeant Michell Royse of the U.S. Army's much diminished 160th Special Operations Aviation Battalion, scanned the northern banks of the river delta as the Black Hawk pounded up the narrowing channel over dark, choppy waters.

And finally, my favorite. Deon Meyers, the South African thriller writer, begins Seven Days like this:

Whatever happened, he just didn't want to make a complete idiot of himself.

This is one of the ways I select books to read when I'm browsing bookstores or the library. I check out the cover art (and yes, I've been known to choose books by their covers), the short synopsis, and the first sentence. And if the author is a known favorite (like Harlan Coben and Deon Meyer), it doesn't hurt.

My guest blogger for tomorrow is Alana White, author of the upcoming Five Star historical mystery release, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin. Leaving a comment on Alana's post also gives you an entry for the writing planner giveaway. Don't miss it.


Anonymous said...

I definitely select my books based on covers-- It can't look too pop fiction for me. I won't pick it up. I don't usually give first sentences all that much attention, but definitely look at jacket synopsis and a first paragraph. Love the examples you gave here though-they capture from the get-go!

Yolanda Renee said...

It's the cover that first gets your attention, but knowing the author can move you past that. I do admit to checking out books because the cover is bad -- mainly because my books suffer in that respect.
First sentences -- paying more attention all of a sudden. Hmmm...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Last one is funny, but the first one got my attention immediately.