In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade.
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
“I am leaving, I am leaving.” But the fighter still remains.
Task: Think of your five favorite novels and read their opening lines. Ponder them. What makes them great. And how you can use their opening line strategies in your own writing.
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.
The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my free time to thinking about death.
Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart (Joyce Carol Oates) “Little Red” Garlock, ‘sixteen years old, skull smashed soft as a rotted pumpkin and body dumped into the Cassadaga River, near the foot of Pitt Street, must not have sunk as he’d been intended to sink, or floated as far.
All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque) We are at rest five miles behind the front.
Let the Great World Spin (Colum McCann) Those who saw him hushed.