Monday, June 6, 2005

Crusie Control

I think that Jennifer Crusie has the art of character-driven first sentences nailed. Typically, I prefer a first sentence that hooks me right from the beginning but doesn't tell me too much and I'll write more tomorrow on why. But her first sentences make me want to know more about the characters she introduces.
For example, from her book, FAST WOMEN, she writes:
The man behind the cluttered desk looked like the devil, and Nell Dysart figured that was par for her course since she'd been going to hell for a year and a half anyway.

With a sentence like that, how can you not wonder about Nell and her poor life situation?
And from her book, TELL ME LIES, her first sentence is:
One hot August Thursday afternoon, Maddie Faraday reached under the front seat of her husband's Cadillac and pulled out a pair of black lace underpants.

Of course, this first sentence is aided by the second sentence, which is:
They weren't hers.

I hope her husband's name isn't Earl, because Earl'd have to die!

The last two examples come from her books WELCOME TO TEMPTATION and CRAZY FOR YOU, respectively:
Sophie Dempsey didn't like Temptation even before the Garveys smashed into her '86 Civic, broke her sister's sunglasses, and confirmed all her worst suspicions about people from small towns who drove beige Cadillacs.

On a gloomy March afternoon, sitting in the same high school classroom she'd been sitting in for thirteen years, gritting her teeth as she told her significant other for the seventy-second time since they'd met that she'd be home at six because it was Wednesday and she was always home at six on Wednesdays, Quinn McKenzie lifted her eyes from the watercolor assignments on the desk in front of her and met her destiny.

For fun summer reading, check these out!

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