Saturday, July 23, 2011

Killer first sentences

I'm a sucker for a cracker opening sentence.

Here are some of my favourites.

"We came on the wind of the carnival." Chocolat, Joanne Harris

"Joseph fixed his eyes on the coffin and thought of silkworms." The Running Man, Michael Gerard Bauer

"Change tiptoed into our lives with her eyes down, like a shy chick coming late to class." Boofheads, Mo Johnson

You are going to die."
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

"The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do." A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Poetic images and the world wide web

I am working on text revisions for The Strange Little Monster and the Swamp Goblin today. (Sequel to A Strange Little Monster, illustrated by Stephen Michael King.)

My editor suggested that I should try to make a couple of important lines more poetic - to create stronger images. Great advice. If only I could find the right words!

Sitting in my tiny study this chilly Sunday where does one go for poetic inspiration when the words won't come of their own accord? Of course there is the thesaurus - always a good place to start. But often so limiting, especially when we now have the world at our fingertips with the world wide web!

So I googled some key words, phrases, concepts etc and in seconds I had sound bites, YouTube clips, gorgeous photos, poems, articles, quotes and much more spiralling across my screen, providing me with more than enough inspiration to create the images I needed.

Although often diverting and the cause of much time-wasting the WWW is also the most amazing resource for a writer!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A special kind of magic

Don't you love that special kind of magic that happens when you open a book and start reading a well-crafted story? There are few pursuits that engage the imagination in such a powerful way.

Love this from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. (p8)

"How long did I sit on the stairs after reading the letter? I don't know. For I was spellbound. There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic."

So that's my inspiration for today.