"As writers, we learn most of what we know just by watching the pros, don't we?" ~John R. Trimble
It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez pg. 3
“His familiar husky voice sent a wave of wistfulness through me. A thousand memories spun in my head, tangling together – a rocky beach strewn with driftwood trees, a garage made of plastic sheds, warm sodas in a paper bag, a tiny room with one too-small shabby loveseat. The laughter in his deep-set black eyes, the feverish heat of his big hand around mine, the flash of his white teeth against his dark skin, his face stretching into the wide smile that had always been like a key to a secret door where only kindred spirits could enter. It felt sort of like homesickness, this longing for the place and person who had sheltered me through my darkest night.” (Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse page 71)I will use this quote to prompt students to write about the way another person makes them feel, imitating SM's evocative use of phrasing, description, and fragment.
“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.” (Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, page 1)I will use this quote to prompt my students to think of times in their own lives that they cannot forget, hopefully times that made them what they are today, just as this experience shaped the protagonist of the novel into what he is.
“I can still see Hassan up on that tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfectly round face, a face like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose and slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire. I can still see his tiny low-set ears and that pointed stub of a chin, a meaty appendage that looked like it was added as a mere afterthought.” (Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, page 3)I will ask my students to model a description of someone they will not forget after Hosseini's description of Hassan, specifically in use of figurative language and imagery, as well as the phrasing after the colon.
"Winter this far north was a series of short days and long nights, with mostly cold and silence in between--a time when most living things huddled or slept through the intolerable cold and dark."The Trap by John Smelcer, p. 3
lajj wrote…"The shape of my life is, of course, determined by many other things; my background and childhood, my mind and its education, my conscience and its pressures, my heart and its desires." from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh p.23
The Best 100 Opening Lines From Literature (scroll over the book cover image to see a pop-up box of the first sentences--awesome!)http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/the-best-100-opening-lines-from-books
"My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog."(Opening sentence to Because of Winn-Dixie p. 7)
"Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly."--Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God"
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