“From a much newer novel, Head Games by Craig McDonald, the first line is:
“We were sitting in a backroom of a cantina on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, three drinks in, when Bill Wade reached into the dusty duffle bag he had tucked under the table and plunked down the Mexican general’s head.”
The severed head of a dead Mexican general? That gets your attention. Notice how much scene-setting info the author includes in this first line. He tells us that there are at least two characters in this scene, probably male, where the scene takes place, and what happens. The sentence does double duty—grabbing the reader’s attention and dropping him into the fictional scene.”
The full article here: An Editor Talks to Writers: Grand openings
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