Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Famous First Words

I just discovered this article by Andrew Pyper on The Globe and Mail website. It's a fitting addendum to yestersday's post.

"Novelists can be superstitious ninnies sometimes. The good-luck coffee mug we set next to the keyboard every morning, the song we put on six-hour repeat, the Ideal Reader we summon to mind who kisses the tops of our heads and sends us off on a new day’s fabrications. Some of these fixations are helpful, others worrying symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. But no writerly preoccupation is more universally shared – or has been the cause of more agonized hours staring at the blank page – than the First Line. [...]
     How we begin a book is widely considered to be a matter so crucial, so decisive in determining whether a book soars or stalls, so elusive and mysterious, it’s often spoken of in terms closer to spell-casting than sentence making. So much is asked of the first line it can sometimes feel like an impossible burden to be carried by a handful of words."
— Andrew Pyper, The Globe and Mail

Buy all of Andrew Pyper's books here...

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