|i follow lichipan on instagram because her feed makes me jelly|
THE THINGS YOU DON'T DO || I've learned a lot over the years about what to not put in a story's hook.
a:: gobs of descriptionb:: dwindling hope of actually meeting the character within the first five pagesc:: an upfront, exhaustive detailing of what the character looks like (bonus points if the character is totally plain + swoon-worthy gorgeous at the same time)
THE THINGS THAT I DO || Remember Yatzee? That's how I play with opening lines: the story is the cup + my readers' imaginations are the dice. Shake it up, charge it with energy - hurl it into the plot.
tippity tip-tip: pose a question
Your reader owes you a big balance of absolutely nothing, so you've got to prove it to him that your story is worth his time. There are hundreds of different ways to make your reader care*, but I find the question is one of the most potent methods.
"did i tell you about the time a very not-straight guy in a yellow slicker got chased round a glaswegian bus stop?"
"wait - what??"**
**i am not making this scenario up.
THE "WAIT - WHAT??" RESPONSE || is a great one. & now you're all going to recognize it when I use it on you. Way to go, Jenny.
JENNY'S OPENING-LINES RUNWAY SHOW
Not all of my upcoming novels have opening lines yet, but many of them do. Would you care to take a peek? I really love them, & I hope you do, too (even if they are all subject to editing, scraping, + rewriting cuz i'm the leader + i say when we go. ... here we go.).*
I stood on the last railway platform of my journey.
In all, the experience of riding in a rail carriage was the least harrowing yet in this bleak, unfriendly island country. Not such an island as I was used to: high-topped, volcanic peaks blistering white beneath the smithing of a summer sun, slopes tangled in olive and bay, streets clapping with the sounds of bare native soles and the shriek of gulls... Such islands were graceful, young in their antiquity.
This island was dead.
“What is a son of man?”
I looked up critically, instinctively lifting one hand to shield my eyes from the early morning sunlight. Pan Aeneas stood in front of us with her crazed red mares’-nest falling round her face and her fists bunched at the linen pleating of her gown. Her narrow face was white and drawn, and every freckle stood out starker than ever.
"MY LORD, I AM TRYING. You are asking me to do a thing which Christ himself did not accomplish until after his resurrection!"
blueshift (what even is this novel??)
blueshift (what even is this novel??)
“No, from the sound of it, it’s the Fellows.” Lord Dammerung uncurled languidly from his deeply recessed armchair and reached for the smart silver tray of tea I had put down for him. “With any luck, they’ve brought the post up with them. Simon, do you go tell Lady Margaret, please.”
It would not have made a difference, but in the end Alwin wished Destrian had not said it. It soured all from the outset.
“—You mean she has no abigail?”
“She has two sisters; what in the world could she need an abigail for?”
Goddgofang de la Mare rolled a pair of shirts together and thrust them wholesale into the depths of his saddle-bag. “Are you sure you will not come?” he asked, whirling from the bedstead with the swiftness and smoothness of a kingfisher. “Aaron is coming, you know.”
*these are in alphabetical, not chronological, order
Questions, questions, QUESTIONS. Are you excited to read the rest of these stories? Yeah, me too. XD I consciously began Adamantine as a mirror image of Plenilune's beginning because I wanted that reminiscence + continuity. Blueshift? What is it that yours truly is trying to do which only Jesus has done?? Who are the Fellows? What foreboding doth loom upon Drakeshelm? Who doesn't have an abigail? Who won't come to where? We may never know because I might expire before I get to all these, yikes.
I can't be the only one with first lines prepped for upcoming stories. Do you have some to share? Do you have some that maybe need a fresh coat of paint + a sharper hook? Please share! After all, first impressions are everything.*
*don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise
thank you! you've been a great audience.xoxo, jenny
find out how to identify your crutch words + destroy them forever on the penslayer!