Today, I thought I do something a little different. A lot of people say you can judge a book by its opening line. Most agree that if the first paragraph doesn’t grab them, they’ll put the book down.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d try to unravel a book’s plot by looking only at its first and last sentence.
Let’s start with the insanely popular The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I finally have to let go.
Very clearly (without any spoilers) this is a love story between two famous people [most likely politicians, at least in my head]. Their relationship is probably on the rocks, since one wakes up without the other in their bed. By the end, they seem to be able to work together, even if the relationship isn’t mended completely. Of course, one character does seem to care for the other a lot…it’s unclear, however, how he feels in return.
But, looking at those two sentences, I think that might be a decent opening to a book. Let’s try again, this time with Robert Jordan’s epic, The Eye of the World. Just to make sure it’s not a fluke.
The place still shook occasionally as the earth rumbled in memory, groaned as if it would deny what happened that day. “The Dragon is reborn.”
Nope. Still a pretty good opening (maybe).
I once read about a writing exercise where you take the first line from one book and the last line from another and write the middle.
Something like, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief mashed up with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Look, I didn’t want to be half blood.
“I’m going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer…”
You just fill in the ellipsis (the first one, not J.K. Rowling’s).