Opening With A Bang
Here’s to opening with a bang! Let me share something with you:
“Grab your reader with an opening! Right? Have a man walk in with a gun, set the bomb ticking, the lovers begin to undress? Oh, how many stories I’ve seen with a slam-bang start like that, and oh, how many have immediately gone to a flash-back, admitted the dream or simply fizzled, spluttered and dribbled slowly away.
The nuclear bomb opening I see as the medallion man of literature, more flash than substance, more likely to lead to disappointment than satisfaction. It’s the confident whisper, the self-assured promise I look for, the paragraph which quietly says, “I don’t need bells and whistles. Listen, listen.” And the story may be so quiet that I have to lean forward. I am tilted into the body of the work, disconcerted, or intrigued by setting, attracted by character or seduced, simply seduced, by the sounds and shapes and meaning of the words.”
That’s from How to Open Without a Bang by Alex Keegan, written in 1997.
I first read that in 1998 and it struck me as pretty good advice. And so, seven years later when I started this story, what did I do?