1. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Best Opening?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gallowglass, Aug 22, 2011.

    As readers, what would your opinion be on each of the following openings for a book? Which one provides more of a 'hook?'

    1) A war council held after the loss of five guerrillas in a botched assassination; talk of hunting down a ship. A single line about how one of the characters cannot know who is father was because it will endanger all of them.

    2) The assassination in progress: several guerrillas surrounding a house, and setting fire to it.

    3) The guerrillas finding a setting fire to a ship: again, a single line about how it will endanger all of them if one character found out the identity of his father.
     
  2. AllThingsMagical
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    AllThingsMagical Member

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    I think number 2 appeals to me the most but that said it's hard to tell without actually reading them. It also sort of depends on the story as well as some types of opening just don't seem to work with the story. And then if you were to write any of the other beginnings then I'm sure there would be a way to make them all equally good in terms of hooking the reader. It's a hard one to call. If I were you I'd be tempted to write all three and see which one I preferred once I had written them but then that's just me :)
     
  3. Peutra
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    Peutra Member

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    It doesn't really matter what you pick; it's how you write it. They're all perfectly good openings for a book, but whether you write them well is a different story (no pun intended).
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It all depends on how they are written. Each of them has potential, and sufficient conflict to pull the reader in.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd start with #2. It sounds the most exciting to me. I wouldn't use #1; a group of people sitting around talking, no matter how hooking the subject matter, can't compare to a bunch of guerillas setting fire to a house.
     
  6. AceTachyon
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    AceTachyon New Member

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    Pick one and write it.
     
  7. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    If your truly stuck, just write all three and pick the best one.
     
  8. Kalpea_Tuli
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    Kalpea_Tuli Member

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    One of my favourite openings for a book is by Anthony Burgess... I can remember the entire first sentence, but not the title of the novel!

    "It was in the afternoon of my 81st birthday and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali called to say that the archbishop had come to see me"

    There, in one sentence, you have packed in a whole lot of provocative things: A whiff of the exotic with the Arabic named servant who clashes with the, -at first thought-, very European Archbishop; the Archbishop then, in his turn, is in paradoxically friendly relations with a pedophile, there's the second clash.

    I would definetely go with the guerilla fighters, and see how I could get the first paragraph (or even sentence, as we have seen) as poignant and provocative as possible.
     
  9. Epic0n
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    Epic0n Member

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    The assassination (2) seems really short, and not much you could write about. The only one I think you could truly draw out is the war council (1). Here, you could blab on and on about what they say, and make it relevant to the story (not filler).
     
  10. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Write all three and choose which you think is best.
     
  11. Zenoris
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    Zenoris New Member

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    I agree with most everyone else, number two is probably the best one. Personally, I like it when authors or movies start off like that because it grabs your attention and makes you wonder why they're doing that and what lead to those events.
     
  12. Forceflow
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    Forceflow Member

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    I prefer one, purely because thats the kind of person i am, especially if the war council involves a character that cant be taken seriously, always adds some interest
     
  13. Shifty
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    Shifty Member

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    That what i was going to say. It's what i'd do. Two great mind can't be wrong :D
     
  14. chatterbox
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    chatterbox Member

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    maybe 1 because it shows that it is an important topic / event is up for descussion but to keep it interesting I would have them talking then someone could come in with some news (for example a person has broke into their top secret lair)
     
  15. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Which one sounds most interesting to you? You decide.

    1)The general pounded the table, his brow creased in anger. "As you are all aware, several guerillas have failed in an assassination attempt." That sentence sparked a flurry of voices, and confused chatter filled the room. [someone] spoke quickly, but with fierce conviction. "We should hunt down the ship!" Several people raised their objections, arguing against it. [someone] watched with worry in his eyes. "Oh, dear. If [someone] ever found out who my father was... it would endanger us all."

    2)[someone]'s hands trembled as he/she struck the match. "Is the place rigged?" His companion nodded, not taking his eyes off the house. "No. We cut all the wires. No alarm system, anywhere." [someone] moved forward, taking quick, short, steps. He closed his eyes, then opened them and hurled the match into the house. More men surrounded it. Watching with varied expressions:eager, blank, worried, and frustrated as the house smouldered.

    The first is less action-packed, but provides more information and offers an interesting inside as to how things are run in this place. The second is purely suspense.
     

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