Monday, January 24, 2011

Openings

Hi, this is Margaret Daley. This weekend I am going to Phoenix to talk with the ACFW local chapter. I am really looking forward to meeting all of them. One of the topics I am speaking on is openings of stories. I would like your help on this subject. What do you like to see in an opening scene of a romantic suspense (or any story)? What are some openings you have enjoyed?

One of the openings I still remember after twenty-five years is the opening of Star Wars, especially when Darth Vadar comes onto the scene. You knew exactly what the story was going to be about and that Darth Vadar was BAD. Think of the James Bond movies. They all start with an action scene--one that James Bond has to get out of. So what do you like?

11 comments:

Barbara Phinney said...

I like action right off the bat, but it's got to be related to the story. Don't trick me. And don't make the action so impossible, as sometimes James Bond writers do, that you roll your eyes.
Make it good, believable and exciting. I know, no small order!

PamelaTracy said...

I like action, but the minute it came in vogue, suddenly every suspense book opened with action. If I have money for one, and they all start with action, I go to the back blurb and see which one also has characters I can identify with.

PamelaTracy said...

BTW, Margaret, we are sooooooo looking forward to you coming to the greater Phoenix area.

Margaret Daley said...

I can't wait to see you all in Phoenix, Pamela. Barbara, good point about believable action. Yes, James Bond movies are often over the top. Pamela, I agree I need to identify with the characters--care about them when they are put into danger.

Lynette said...

Hi Margaret, love the question. I want to see action immediately. I've been trained well in writing for LIS! I often think of the old MacGuyver (however you spell his name) series. Each episode opened with him getting out of trouble using his unique skills. Love it.

Dana Mentink said...

Well I think the best suspense author I've ever read (not CBA) is Harlan Coben who gets you right from the first line and keeps you on edge until the last paragraph. Here's the first line from his book Long Lost.

You don't know her secret, Win said to me.

Hope White, Author said...

Dana,

I agree -- Harlan Coben rocks!

Hope White, Author said...

Dana,

I agree -- Harlan Coben rocks!

PamelaTracy said...

I haven't read him. Which one is the best?

Ramona Richards said...

To repeat some of y'all...I love Harlan Coben. And an opening action sequence, as long as it's overdone. I've now worked across the street from 6 of those huge cranes that open one Bond movie. I've been eye-level with them and watched them operate closely - which makes that sequence even harder to watch.

And not just with suspense books. I like romances and literary fiction to start in the middle of something, drawing the reader in immediately.

Dana Mentink said...

I read Coben's Hold Tight and I was up until the wee hours finishing it. Again, he is not CBA so you're going to get more gore and objectionable content, but the man is a plot GENIUS!