26 July 2008 @ 01:39 am
There is something that has always been and will always be very intimidating about the first page of anything you may ever write. Be it an essay, research paper, novel, or emo-angst rant in your blog--it's frightening to look at a blank page (or screen, for those of you who are especially tech-savvy) and think--no, know--that you are the one who has to fill it. Geez...talk about being nervous-making! Perhaps the only thing worse than that thought is the one that you've got to find someway to start it off with a bif! bam! kapow! BANG! It has to be something totally stunning and completely BRILLIANT with sparkles and glitter and just the right amount of pizazz! Not only do you have to properly convey the tone and theme of your writing (which will, no doubt, be absolutely brilliant as soon as you can actually start it), you've got to do it in a way that captures your audience and keeps them captivated to the very end. It's not exactly easy. Why else would there be so many authors that aren't published? It's not that they aren't good--they just can't get that one hook down at the very start.

Says Scott Westerfeld,

There is a mini-cult of first lines among us writers. The first line is sort of like the lobby of the book: the first thing you see, coloring all subsequent impressions. It’s one place where you’re truly allowed to show off.

He, of course, is famous for such great first-liners as:

"Getting dressed was always the hardest part of the afternoon." (Pretties)

"We are all around you." (So Yesterday)

"I think New York was leaking." (The Last Days)

"The five small craft passed from shadow, emerging with the suddenness of coins thrown into sunlight." (The Risen Empire)

And, my personal favorite:

"The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit." (Uglies)

Let's face it--the first line of any sort of piece of writing, be it prose or poetry, is the very essence of the words that follow it. So, without further ado and for your consideration, some first lines (can you guess who wrote what?):

  • "The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school was because no one understood."
  • "All children, except one, grow up."
  • "We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our reat gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun."
  • "I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again."
  • "At the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows and no birds ever sing excepting old crows...is the Street of the Lifted Lorax."
  • "I am the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass."
  • "I taped the commercial back in April, before anything had happened, and promptly forgot about it."
  • "The Adventures of Captain Proton!"
  • "Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys an wherefores thereof." (what a doozy!)
  • "'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug."
  • "I remember where I was and what I was doing when Bonnie Prince Charlie was killed."
  • "Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes."
  • " Unhappy with a new treaty, Federation Colonists along the Cardassian border have banded together."
  • "Marley was dead, to begin with."
  • "One dollar and eighty-seven cents."
  • "It's a jazz affair, drum crashes and cornet razzes."
  • "Once upon a time there was a pair of pants."
  • "It was a dark and stormy night."

  • While we're here, what are some of your favorite first lines?
Current Location: home...almost in bed
Current Mood: inspired!
Current Music: "She Floats" - Vanessa Carlton
27 June 2008 @ 01:13 am
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 1984 - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Current Mood: dorky
Current Music: "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter
Current Location: home
25 January 2008 @ 12:23 am
Well guys....Valentine's Day is coming up. And boy do I know it. Working in a party store tends to heighten your awareness of each and every single holiday. Normally, as I love holidays, that is no problem. However this year, I have discovered I suffer from a well-known and well-cited ailment known as Valentine's Day Hating Sickness. I have no idea why, usually I go bonkers over it and all that jazz, but somehow this year is different.....

But I'm not here to piss and moan about how I'm sick of hearing about the "L" word and whatnot. I'm here to ask you all for your opinions.

Some of you may know that I have an account over at deviantART. If you didn't, now you do. There. Easy peas-y lemon squeeze-y. Now seeing as Valentine's Day is coming up, I'm thinking of doing some kind of Valentine's Day themed work to put up on our beloved internetz (lol....I am SO an English major XD). It's common-ish practice for members of dA to put junk up around the holidays/seasons but I've never done it and I kind of want to. Hre's where you come in.

I want you to tell me what to do. Mostly because I'm indecisive. Partly because I'd like some direction. So fill out this cute little poll thingamabob that I just made and tell me what you think/want.

Click for poll thingamajig )

Okay now I am going to bed because I have class in seven hours. :[

x-posted to dA
Current Location: home
Current Music: "Unwritten" - Natasha Beddingfield
Current Mood: creative
21 January 2008 @ 10:41 pm
Title: Broken Cliché
Genre: emo angst
Rating: G
Warnings: Will make you feel like an emo cutter

Broken Cliché )
Current Location: home
Current Music: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Current Mood: morose