While I'm on the subject of first sentences, I started John Le Carre's latest effort, A Most Wanted Man (London: Scribner, 2008), p. 1:
A Turkish heavyweight boxing champion sauntering down a Hamburg street can scarcely be blamed for failing to notice that he is being shadowed by a skinny boy in a black coat.This is a pretty good one. The thing about the Turkish boxing champion is unusual and gets our attention. And why is he sauntering with his mother? Sauntering? The impression of leisure and that they are walking along because they enjoy each other. That could stimulate sympathy or curiosity. And the word "scarcely," attempts to exhonerate the referrent at the same time as it atributes a small degree of blame to him. But why? And what business does this skinny boy have with the champ. And what's the significance of the black coat?
The first sentence is important. It hooks the reader (or not). It's like a little flag out there saying, "Read me. I'm interesting."
What do you think about this? Can we talk about writing here? Post a comment.
Writing is, to me, an entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurial ideas are the life's blood of my writing. For my entrepreneurial course, Entrepreneurship on Line, go to www.hatman2.blogspot.com. For entrepreneurial real estate to www.yourstopforrealestate.com/blog