Please Consider this Powerful Ministry

sponsor a child inn ministries

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Suspense Continued...

Yesterday, I talked about how important it is to build suspense early in your story--the first sentence or paragraph if possible. Here are some of my favorite "first sentence" or "first paragraph" hooks:

1. “Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness of the sea, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night.”

2. “Judd Thompson and Vicki Byrne were the only ones left. Their parents and older siblings had disappeared right out of their clothes a few days before.”

3. “I am Miguel. For most people it does not make so much difference that I am Miguel. But for me, often, it is a very great trouble.”

4. “No one ever opened the door at the bottom of the basement stairs. No one ever talked about it either. It was simply understood: leave that door alone.”

5. “These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.”

6. “Adventures are funny things. They may fall out of a tree, appear down a seldom trodden path, or even arrive in an envelope, but they always begin the same way. Adventures always begin with the unexpected.”

7. “Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”


8. “When I was a kid, my parents always told me there was no such thing as monsters. With all my heart, I wish that were true.”


Two tasks for you, if you are interested:

A. Post one of your favorite "first sentence" or "first paragraph" hooks. Tell what you like about it.

B. I will sign and ship a copy of Isle of Swords for the first person who can name all of the book titles these hooks come from, and identify the hooks that I wrote. {Here's a hint: My hooks probably aren't as good as the others!} ;-)

44 comments:

Josh said...

1.The Cay by Theodore Taylor
2. the left behind : The Vanishings by jerry b. jenkins
3. ...and now Miguel by joseph crumold
4.yours
5.tuck everlasting by natalie babbit
6.yours
7.A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
8.your




my favorite opening would be: The first sword missed aidans head by an inch.

that is what really got me into the door with is the suspense ^_^ hope my answers are rite


Josh

WayneThomasBatson said...

HOLY COW!! Josh, you nailed it. How in the world did you know all these?

I am totally impressed. When you email me your DW artwork, include your snail mail address, and I'll send you a copy of Isle of Swords as soon as I get them. Congratulations and well done!

Josh said...

I sent my DW work to your DW email a while back and i guess you didn't get is so could you re send me your email maby i accidentally got the wrong email address thanks ^_^

Erin said...

My favorites of the ones you posted are 4 and 7.

Erin said...

Oh, and I just realized #4 is from YOUR book! Good job! :)

Brett said...

Drats I was slow to the punch. I only knew 2, 4, 6, 7 and8. I need to read more :)
Congrats to Josh!

Josh said...

thanks brett

WayneThomasBatson said...

Josh,

Bummer about the initial send of your art. I did not get it. Cyberspace, got to love it.

batguy21784@yahoo.com

And Erin--thanks for the encouraging words! And the Dickens quote is one of my all time favs! Can you add to the list? Have another book in mind?

Brett, I'll be having a ton more contests in the near future. Stay tuned. Same Bat channel...

everlastingscribe said...

"The small boy hunched down, the sea lapping against his ankles. Reaching foreword, he found a stone worn smooth and flat; he rubbed it back and forth on his fingertips. He brought it to his lips, then to the sensitive folds of his eyelids, moving it gently, as if the stone were a tiny, soft animal. In the total darkness of Aliare, smooth felt beautiful."

One of my all time favorite opening paragraphs I couldn't get away from this story after reading that. :-D

I love the juxtaposition of a little boy who could be on the beach anywhere along with the introduction of a wold of utter darkness. The book is "Children in the Night" by Harold Myra. Unforunately, it's out of print but more than worth the hunt.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Whoa, Scribe, that is cool. It just strikes all those sensory receptors as you read it.

everlastingscribe said...

Exactly ;) This book was one that made me want to be a writer. And way to go Josh getting all the others. Only one I recognised (other than those belonging to m'lord Batson) was Dickens.

Josh said...

thanks everlastingscribe number 4 stumped me because i thought i had read it before but apparently i had not and luckily i was rite ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

I am still really blown away. m'Lord Batson wasn't doing a 'gimmie' list and you really deserved it. Can't wait to see what other ''tasks'' he sets out for us. ;)

Josh said...

Yes i am very excited about the other tasks, everlastingscribe

everlastingscribe said...

:-D rather is like questing. Though I shouldn't say anything else, I don't want m'lord Batson getting *ideas*

Josh said...

yes Mr. Batson dose not need eny help in making the the contests hard lol ;)

everlastingscribe said...

Well, no surprise there, I mean look what he does to his poor characters.

;)

Josh said...

aaa aidan in the door within poor aidan

everlastingscribe said...

And poor Kaliam, and poor Robbie and poor Antoinette . . . I'm sensing a theme here

Josh said...

and captain Valithor and poor Falon

everlastingscribe said...

Not to mention Nock and Bolt!

Josh said...

ooo i mourned for Bolt and then Trena
i too am sensing a theme lol

everlastingscribe said...

I don't think I've ever been that angry at Lord Batson before, when he. . .well did what he did. The anger lasted all of several minutes and then I went "Cool-he wrote this well enough that I got angry"

Josh said...

well yes but the end of the book is quite a cliff hanger i can only hope for more

everlastingscribe said...

I think that we can expect more, seeing those teaser chapters from Isle of Swords

Josh said...

i do dearly hope ^_^

Amy said...

I have two favorites right now. The first belongs to our illustrious Mr. Batson:


Thunder rolled, heavy and abrupt, shaking the windowpanes of Aidan's room. Aidan put down the scrolls he had been reading and got up to look out at the approaching storm. He could smell the rain in the air, but it hadn't actually started to fall. Aidan stood at the open window. A chill breeze swept in across his face and forearms. His skin tingled. The tiny hairs on his arms stood up.

(The Rise of the Wyrm Lord pg. 1)

The second is from another great:

The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive. Cars that were usually gleaming stood dusty in their drives and lawns that were once emerald green lay parched and yellowing; the use of hosepipes had been banned due to drought. Deprived of their usual car-washing and lawn-mowing pursuits, the inhabitants of Privet Drive had retreated into the shade of their cool houses, windows thrown wide in the hope of tempting in a nonexistent breeze. The only person left outdoors was a teenage boy who was lying flat on his back in a flower bed outside number four.

(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling, pg. 1)

WayneThomasBatson said...

Okay, Scribe, this Lord Batson stuff…I'm beginning to think I should be sitting upon a dark throne radiating dread and malice, all the while brandishing a mace and plotting the downfall of some more-or-less innocent kingdom. LOL

everlastingscribe said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing dark armor, brandishing maces, and sitting on nice dark throwns. Where is it written that the hero has to wear white? ;)

And I believe Josh and I have decided you DO radiate dread and malice to your poor characters.

Josh said...

yes but that is what makes the book good and interesting lol

chrisd said...

(grumble grumble kids grumble grumble)

I really can't complain as I have the 3 books laying on one of my wingback chairs.

Hope you're doing well, Wayne.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hey, Chris

Thanks for coming by, And yes, now that I'm on the other side of that deadline…I am doing well. ;-)

Brett said...

Man you guys! Poor Mr. Batson. :)
Hmmm question for Mr. B.
When (not if) the Door Within Trilogy is made into movies, do have an idea of who you'd want to see play some of your characters?

Josh said...

Brett i love the idea of the DW becoming movies and we were only joking lol m'Lord Batson it my favorite author

WayneThomasBatson said...

Brett,

Kevin Lucia asked me that in an interview. Here was my response:

Aidan Thomas: some unknown lad, soft-spoken but tough as nails.

Antoinette Lynn Reed: again, an unknown, but she must have serious inner fire.

Captain Valithor: Sean Connery. Please, God, let them make the movie while Sean is still with us!

Paragor/Paragal: This may seem weird, but I’d cast myself in this role. I’ve read his most intense scenes like “Traitor’s Legacy” so many times, I feel like I just know his flaws and his arrogance.

Mallik: Gerard Butler, the Scotsman who played Beowulf

Sir Rogan: my buddy Dan who, I’m convinced, is part Viking.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Love all the convo here. This is the very first thread that has had more than 20 posts. No worries!

Brett said...

Sean Connery as Valithor....wow. I can see him swinging a sword and shouting :)
Apparently Mr. Batson really DOES want that dark throne and mace....considering he wants Paragor!!

WayneThomasBatson said...

It can be fun to play the villain, right? Since it's only...ACTING!

Josh said...

I have heard its fun because you get to be evil or bad without actually being evil or bad.

Amy said...

Playing the villain is the most fun because generally it's so far from the truth that you can get really into the character. Plus, when you've created the character, you know best what his/her innermost motivations and idiosyncracies are.

everlastingscribe said...

For whatever reason, whenever I write the antagonist of the story, I wind up liking them as much if not more than the protagonist. I blame Timothy Zahn for this, after reading his books I can't have wooden villains. They have to have a believable reason for doing what they do. If they want to take over the world, they have to do so for some reason other than they want to take over the world. ;) Any one else suffer from this?

everlastingscribe said...

Anyway, speaking, or rather typing about Mr. Zahn I felt rather bad using the example I did yesterday with Harold Myra's book because as good as it is, it's out of print. So here is book #2 and a hook that has made me a life-long fan of Mr. Timothy Zahn.

"They were waiting for me as I stepped through the door into the taverno: three of them, preadult Yavanni, roughly the size of Brahma bulls, looming over me from both size of the entryway. Big, eager-eyed, and territorial, they were on the prowl and looking for an excuse to squash something soft. From all indications, it looked like that something was going to be me."

The Icarus Hunt

WayneThomasBatson said...

Love the dark humor in Mr. Zahn's intro. I agree about the villains. I think that a true villain must be truly evil, but he/she should have a plausible backstory.

Anonymous said...

(*Reading further down*.) Absolutely! I think Mr. Batson would play an awesome Paragor... or whatever actor, actually. Amy—so true! You can truly *know* what the character feels like... how they look... how they think... how they act, if you are the author. A reader can imagine this, and (depending on how good the author is) see this, but (I think!) only the author can know truly what it should look like. Is it not an author's dream to have their book become a movie? The reader would like it... but there is (generally) nothing the reader can do. So the author, on the other hand, can do a lot. And if they decide to—they can make the movie what they dreamed of!
(And yes, this has been 'your daily dose of common sense'. ;))