Turn in Writing Practice #4: Opening sentences


Opening sentences or lines, were the reference for Practice Writing Wednesday Prompt #4. They’re the first thing that grabs your readers attention, they’re the doors of stories or books. In fact, with them you can introduce a character or an antagonist, set the mood of the book or story, express the point of view of a character or characters, describe the first setting or the setting, or even who the narrator is. Let’s read a few and get a sense of what they are and bring to what will be read.

The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. —James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. —Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground (1864; trans. Michael R. Katz)

Once you read them, and if they have hooked you up, the process of reading continues, questions arise and curiosity takes charge for you will want more. They are simple things in nature, but as you can read, powerful in their simplicity that can take the shape of a very short sentence or a long one that turns into a paragraph.

For my exercise, I’ve decided a maximum of 25 words will suffice to make a statement and initiate a storyline. Here it is:

Before his infant daughter was boarded on the plane, he kissed her farewell sealing the end of their story, for his waited outside the airport.

Translated in Spanish, looks like this:

Antes que su infante hija fuera llevada al avión, le besó en despedida poniendo fin a su mutua historia, el suyo esperaba a las afueras del aeropuerto.

So, what does this opening sentence implies? What does it tell you of the character it talks about? What mood does it establish?

Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments and if you read Spanish don’t forget to read my sample chapter of my book Ascension Divina, click here. Until next time, and remember from inspiration to the written word.

A.R. Roman

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