What do you think the ‘story’ might be from these examples? Give each one a rating out of TEN and explain why.
Remember the more you recognise the effects that writers use to create compelling openings, the more easily you can employ such techniques in your own writing. I cheated slightly with the first example as it is a short story in itself. Hemingway used only SIX words to devastating effect. Enjoy these examples and see why some appeal more than others….
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” ( Ernest Hemingway)
THERE WAS A HAND IN the darkness, and it held a knife.( Neil Gaiman)
Jack Reacher was alone, the way he liked it, soaking up the hot, electric New York City night, watching a man cross the street to a parked Mercedes and drive it away. (Lee Child)
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.(Jane Austen)
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and chain upon the gate. ( Daphne Du Maurier)
In the middle of the eulogy at my mother’s boring and heartbreaking funeral, I began to think about calling off the wedding.(Amy Bloom)
Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write. (Ruth Rendell)
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