Saturday, October 30, 2010

No pressure

"One should be able to return to the first sentence of a novel and find the resonances of the entire work." - Gloria Naylor


  1. Ha! First sentences are really hard. Would love for that to happen, but I can't imagine HOW to do it!

  2. That's a pretty tall order, kudos if you can pull it off!

  3. yea, right. what fantasy world is Gloria living in?

  4. I like this quote! makes me think.

  5. I had to laugh when I saw this quote. IT's so true yet so darn hard!

  6. Actually, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. You are an author, putting your story - vision - child out there for the world to know. What do you do? You make your first sentence, and first paragraph, the best introduction you can think of.

    What is going to come across in that first sentence? You can't convey a lot of plot, setting or character detail in one sentence. A little, but not a lot. But you can instantly establish voice and tone.

    I believe those are the "resonances" that Gloria Naylor (whom I don't know anything about, but I assume she's a famous writer or critic) is speaking of.

    Go back to the first sentence of various novels and see how they relate to the overall work. Come In Character has a weekly Friday prompt using the first line of famous books. (which was my idea, by the way, but Laura Martone has done an incredible job of keeping the feature going since I stopped helping with the blog). It's amazing to me as I stop and think over the different first lines we've had during the past year or so since we started this feature to see how uniquely each author starts his or her work. It's really true.

    Think about it! Then think about your own work. I think you'll see it's true there, too.


I apologize for the word verification. I hate it, but the spammers made me do it.