Monday, June 05, 2006

Really cool openings...

We've all read books that hooked us from the first word.  Books that had such a cool opening, that after we read it, we had to either buy the book, or if it was already ours...keep reading until we found out what happened next.  Within the writing community, a lot of emphasis gets put on the opening line of a book and while some can be real doozies, if they aren't followed up with a scene and a chapter and ultimately a whole story that pulls you in, they don't count for much.  Know what I mean?
 
As readers, we want stories to engage us and keep us engaged, right?  So, what does that for you?
 
I'd love if you would share one of your favorite opening scenes from a book (not a movie...though after this last discussion, I know some are going to be tempted LOL) and what it was about that scene that caught you so hard.  If the author has an excerpt on the web, post the link so the rest of us can read it too if we want. :)
 
I've got a thousand, but one I read recently was the opening scene to Lora Leigh's "Elizabeth's Wolf".  You can read it here.  I'm immediately drawn in by Dash's character...who and what he is, the situation he is in.  His life is in danger, he's in a semi-coma and his commanding officer reads him a letter from a little girl.  That letter brings him back to the living.  He knows he has to fight to get better.  It's totally poignant, totally enthralling and only peripherally focused on the upcoming romance.  I love it!
 
Now it's your turn.  What's one of your favorite opening scenes and why?

9 comments:

lidia said...

I will have to post on Friday (when I get home and can open the book). To this day it is one of by favorite reads -- "Lord of the Scoundrels" by Loretta Chase. It is historical -- recently I figured out one of the appealing things about it -- the H could be a modern alpha male and the h a modern woman who knows what she wants and doesn't let anyone walk over her.

Brandy said...

I love the opening to Jennifer Crusie's Fast Women. The heroine is there for a job interview as a secretary in a detective agancy. In the space of a few moments, while the interviewer is on the phone, she manages to crack his window, break his blinds, crack the arm of the chair she is sitting in and rub a hole in the rug in front of her. She thinks the guy didn't notice. After he hires her and she leaves, his partner walks in and the interviewer tells him off all the damage she has done. (he hired her as a favor to a big client).
ANyway, I always come back to that scene and laugh, no matter how many times I've read it.

Kelley said...

First, I love the scene you posted Lucy! I've never read the book, and the beginning has me completly hooked! I really want to see where the story goes.
For my scene I'm going to pick the initial scene in He Love Lucy by Susan Donovan. I think it is one of the funniest scenes I've read and it had me laughing from the start. I dont have a link or anything but I'll explain it!
Lucy Cunningham is very over weight. She is a marketing exec. To promote a gym her company decides to have her work with a fitness trainer to loose 100 pounds in 1 year. The opening scene is of her walking into the gym surrounded by beautiful men and women. She is popping milk duds in her mouth and runs into the man who could only be her trainer. He is gorgeous and just so happens to be training a super model. He turnes to talk to her. She gets flustered and sucks the milk dud into her throat. Of course she starts to choke and everyone goes into action. The super model on the phone with an ambulance. Her gorgeous trainer tries to save her life but his arms dont fit around her body. Susan Donovans writing style fills this scence with humor, but you also feel the pain of Lucy. I cant imagine that happening!

Heather Waters said...

Hi Lucy!
I recently read an opening line that made me close the book until I finished laughing. Now, it's not so funny. But at that moment, I thought, Brilliant!

It was in Joy Nash's Celtic Fire..first line after the Prologue.
"A real ghost wouldn't have to piss."

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL Well, I can see that humor really works to pull some of you in. :) I'm not as easily drawn in with humor, especially situational comedy or anything resembling slapstick. For me, it's always the emotion. Which goes to show how alike we can be in reading tastes and yet different too.

But...Heather, I have to say that opening line would have caught me too! Wry or dry humor is my favorite kind. :) Did the rest of the scene live up to the opening line?

lidia said...

I dug up my copy of "Lord of the Scoundrels." Right after the Prologue: "No. It can't be," Sir Bertram Trent whispered, aghast. His round blue eyes bulging in horror, he pressed his forehead to the window....

He's a secondary character. After reading the Prologue and then this, I read the book in one night -- and it's 375 pages long! I just couldn't put it down. It was published in 1995 and was reprinted seven times. I can't remember how many times I've re-read it.

Lucy Monroe said...

Lidia...that kind of opening would have pulled me in too! It's all about the emotion and emotion *always* hooks me. :)

Rita said...

My first Christine Feehan's novel that I read was "Dark Fire". The cover did not really do anything for me..it was the beginning of the story. When Darius comes around the corner and sees color for the first time in hundreds of years. I finished the story in one night and had to buy the rest.

Lucy Monroe said...

Yes! Rita...I LOVED that book!