BY THE SPECTATOR, JOHN MALONEY
Soon the carefree days of summer will be upon us. There will be lots of leisure time ahead for all of us. There will be so many things to do, so many places to visit, so many thrills to enjoy. Why not write the great American novel? With all the time you’ll have, why not start this summer. Many novelists began their novels in the summer months.
In addition to your bathing suit, take your notebook, pen and your laptop to the Jersey shore and start that novel! I’ll even help you to get started. How? I’ll provide you with some great opening sentences that will capture reader’s attention from the start.
You have to admit that it’s the opening lines of a novel that grabs your attention and makes you want to finish the book almost in one sitting. Who can ever forget the opening lines of Dickens “Tale of Two Cities” – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” or “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 1984 George Orwell.
You see, it’s the opening line that has to grab you and make you want to read on. I am going to give you some great openings and all you have to do is write the rest of the novel.
1. “The Pope raised his hand, as if giving a blessing, and fired the .45 automatic into the heads of the two cardinals!”
2. “I awoke at 7 AM to find a big Rotweiller licking my face and I didn’t own a dog.”
3. “I gazed downtown and couldn’t believe what I saw – the Eiffel Tower was standing where the Empire State building was supposed to be.”
4. “She walked toward me, tall, beautiful, completely naked with a diet coke in her right hand.”
5. “Jeff, the class nerd, was standing on the mound at Yankee Stadium just one batter away from pitching a perfect game.”
6. “My name is Fred and somehow during the night while I slept I became a woman!”
7. “The old man told me that he was from the star, Alpha Centaur.”
8. “I don’t remember dying so why were they putting me in a coffin!”
9. “It was true, there wasn’t a single black person in all of Harlem.”
10. “It was August and there were 24 inches of snow in New York City and Washington.”
11. “At first the Martians seemed friendly and then they started to eat the cars and buses.”
12. “Mel held in his hands copies of the Daily News for the next four weeks!”
13. “There was something very strange about Martha, she had no belly button.”
14. “You don’t know me but I’ve got to tell my story, I was George Washington’s lover.”
15. “My back was to the wall and my hands were tied and I heard the captain of the firing squad yell “Fired.’”
16. “The devil smiled and said ‘Welcome to Hell, we’ve been waiting for you.’”
17. “Hal’s fingers were lying on the ground and he had no way of picking them up.”
18. “It was the winter of 2106, the temperature was 90 degrees and the cockroach was an endangered species.”
19. “Why,” asked Professor Trapp, “Was there no water in the Atlantic Ocean.”
20. “Yesterday, people reported seeing a dinosaur in Central Parl.”
21. “A few of us are still alive and he remembered well the day the Rockland County Times beat the New York Times in circulation. This is how it happened…”
22. “When Dorothy awoke, she was not home in Kansas but in the Yankee bullpen!”
23. “There was something wrong. I walked down Madison Ave and everyone was wearing a Toga and speaking Latin!”
24. “UPS delivered a big box to my doorstep. When I opened it, there was the head of George Washington.”
25. “The president was dead and I was standing over him with a smoking revolver.”
26. “I opened the door. My wife was standing there in a see-through negligee. She was just coming home.”
27. “Why was I voted ‘Chef of the Year’ when I can’t even fry an egg?”
Go start writing readers. I gave you some good leads. If you finish the novel and it gets published you can send me my 10 percent commission.