She had me at "old biddies"

Just picked up Karen Kingsbury's book, A Moment of Weakness, opened to Chapter 1 and read the first sentence...
"The old biddies sat in a circle, their tightly knotted heads turning this way and that like vultures eyeing a kill."
 ...and I was hooked!

As a writer, I no longer read novels the way I used to. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I learn a lot from analyzing how great writers work their magic, bad because it often gets in the way of a good story.  But noticing what a killer first sentence this was did not interfere with me plowing ahead to see what came next...like I said, I was hooked. 

Karen Kingsbury painted a word picture that clearly portrayed what was happening in this scene. I want to do that. I want to hook readers from the very first sentence, so I thought I'd do a search for "first sentences that hook the reader." The first link that came up was a post on Suzannah Windsor Freeman's site, Write it Sideways -

6 Ways to Hook Your Readers from the Very First Line


 Before I could read the post, however, a window popped up offering me a free ebook called Read Better, Write Better Novel Study Workbook for Aspiring Novelists if I signed up for Suzannah's monthly newsletter, Write It Sideways Resource Wrap-Up. I did.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...writers are the most generous group of folks I know. They're not just willing to share what they know, they're eager to share.

I just received the free ebook and it's printing as we speak. The first page suggests that you...

Choose a novel similar in genre, style, or theme to the one you'd like to write,
then print of a copy of the Read Better, Write Better Novel Study Template.
As you read the novel, fill out the template...
I'm going to do this as I read through A Moment of Weakness to see what I can learn. Thought some of you might want to check out this great resource, hence my post.

Happy Writing!
Jan



*Suzannah Windsor Freeman is the founding editor of Write It Sideways, and author of The Busy Mom's Guide to Writing. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Grist, Sou'wester, Anderbo, Saw Palm, Best of the Sand Hill Review, and more. 

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