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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Spinning Room: The Hook to Pull Readers into Colonial Storyworld



Those first lines are so crucial.  We have only a few moments to pull our colonial readers into our storyworld. And we want them with us, don't we ladies?  As suggested by Laura Frantz, the Colonial American Christian Writers are going to share first lines from their works.

If you are a writer visiting us, won't you please share one of your opening lines?  If you are a reader, is there an opening line posted that you especially love?

Let us know!

Special giveaway today: A Colonial Williamsburg ornament! Please leave your email address with your comment.


25 comments:

  1. Lucky me. I'm not around much on Thursdays, so this being reposted on Saturday means I get to participate afterall. My one and only colonial also has my all-time favorite opening line:

    Too late, Crispin Worthington discovered he hated dying even more than he hated his father.

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  2. CJ, that's a great hook. I want to know more!

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  3. It's to "too late" part that grabs me. Thanks for sharing this sentence.

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  4. Absolutely intriguing, CJ!

    I'm glad we're getting a second chance at this too. I was all set to participate on Thursday when blogger went awol. Here's mine, for the Connecticut Courtships anthology that Carla is also part of:

    Phoebe flinched as another round of cannon fire slammed into Aries’ hull.

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  5. OH MY, all those delectable first lines lost... Bad blogger! Maybe it went AWOL with all the excitement we generated here;) Okay, once again...

    From my upcoming series The Ballantyne Legacy~

    'Twas time for his daughters to wed, Papa said. But he had a curious way of bringing wedded bliss about, sending all the way to Philadelphia for a suitor.

    Whoops, that's 2 lines!

    Here's another from my favorite historical read this year. Can you guess the book and author?

    The distant hoofbeats were growing louder.

    Bless you all for repeating these fine lines:)

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  6. From my WIP, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, set in North Carolina 1787:

    Staying power. That’s what a man needed when bringing forty head of cattle out of the mountains. Staying power and a steady horse.

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  8. Pat, I can see this scene as thought it is a movie! Wonderful.

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  9. That's quite alright, Laura, our hooks don't need to be just one line.

    I'm so excited to get to have that sneak peak into your new series! Laura Frantz, at her best!

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  10. I'm seeing very strong opening lines here! I love the imagery. Lisa, I'm waiting to hear the second shot from the enemy cannon! And I love those few words that say so much, CJ (too late) and Lori (staying power). Strong imagery, characters, and settings!

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  11. Thanks so much for sharing these snippets! What talent!

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  12. Here's one of my own from my WIP Voice of Heaven, 1719:

    “A light like the moon rose out of the water. Flames and sparks shot out of the sky all around. Twas a dreadful sight, my father said.”


    And the opening of from Carving a Future my novella in Colonial Courtships, with Lisa Karon Richardson, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Amber Stockton due out in May 2012, Barbour Publishing.


    "Constance Starling stood on the quayside, the chain around her waist secured to a granite post. She cast her eyes toward the ship moored behind her—prison for the past six weeks. Or perhaps it was seven. On the prow of the elaborately decorated vessel, a figurehead of a seahorse, bold and free, mocked her. She had likely wearied the Almighty with her petitions for freedom, as she too was weary from uttering them, yet she managed once more, “Lord, save me.”

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  13. I have to say these are AMAZING! (Except mine...I'm pretty blase about it now.) I'd grab these books in a heart beat. Carla, what was the light that rose out of the water? Really intriguing...whether they're short and have the quick punch of musket fire, or the longer parrying and thrusts of an expert swordsman!

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  14. Ah, you'll have to wait and see, Pat. Though it is from a true piece of history.

    Don't cut your self short there, Pat, because you have a great scene there yourself!

    It's so much fun to see what everyone is sharing!

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  15. These opening lines are so good!
    I enjoyed them all and wanted to read more :)

    Congrats on the new blog!

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  16. Pat, don't sell yourself short. I really like your opening. It is intriguing. I mean, come on, who doesn't love a mysterious woman in black!?

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  17. Eva, So good to see you here! Thanks for the encouraging comments:)

    I'm with Lisa. Pat's opener stayed with me. I was still thinking about it after blogger went down and was hoping she'd repost. Also, Lori's title grabbed me and I still remember it:) Plus it's wonderful to see a sneak peak of Carla's WIP!!! All of these have me hooked - I keep coming back to reread...

    Whoops, this is Laura, not Wyatt. Am on hubby/son's computer this morning and having an identity crisis...

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  18. Love reading everyone's openings! Reposting mine. =) From LOVE FINDS YOU IN ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, which is set in 1783.

    Perhaps if Lark recited the pirate’s code it would get his attention. She could try standing on her head. Or if those options failed—as surely they would—she could throw herself to the floor before him.

    Except Emerson Fielding was just as likely to mistake her for a rug as to realize he ought to help her up.

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  19. These are all terrific! I want to read every one of these stories! Great hooks, ladies!

    Here's my opening for Crucible of War, book 4 of my series, currently in progress. The setting is Washington's crossing of the Delaware.

    An hour earlier the level of misery had finally surpassed the worst he’d suffered as a slave of the Seneca, Brigadier General Jonathan Carleton reflected. Things hadn’t improved since then.

    And from another WIP, Northkill, the fictionalized story of my Hochstetler ancestors who were attacked on the PA border by a band of Indians in 1757 during the French and Indian War.

    Sixteen-year-old Barbara Hochstetler came to an abrupt halt on the stone threshold of the log house. Instinctively she stiffened, the breath catching in her throat.

    Out in the yard, her little brother, Christian, his sky-blue eyes wide, reached up to touch the silver baubles that hung from the neck and ears of the Indian warrior who bent over him. While she watched in suspended horror, the man returned the boy’s smile with a broad one and trailed claw-like fingers along the soft curve of the child’s cheek, speaking in a melodious language she could not understand.

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  20. Wow! Awesome beginnings, ladies!

    First lines from the first two novels in the up and coming 'Daughters of the Potomac' Series.

    From 'Before the Scarlet Dawn'.
    Eliza Bloome sat forward from the tattered high-backed chair when someone pounded a fist on the front door downstairs.

    From 'Beside Two Rivers'.
    She’d been warned not to venture far from the house, nor go near the river, nor climb the dark shale bluffs above it---but Darcy Morgan had inherited an adventurous spirit that could not be bridled.

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  21. This is what my character, Col. John Scott "told" me as I started work on on his story. It may not end up being the beginning lines:

    The image I hope to always have is that of a flowing river, banked by lush greenery, taking me further and yet closer to the goal I have always sought – that of returning to my one true home. But that home upon the James River, while it still stands, is devoid of that very essence which made it a home – the presence of my family.

    But poor John's life is about to get MUCH better!

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  22. Coming in late as usual. Great lines here. Here's mine from Printed on my Heart from Highland Crossings, an anthology of novellas with Pamela Griffin, Gina Welborn, and Jennifer Hudson Taylor. My story is set in 1758 Cross creek, North Carolina.

    The ropes burned her wrists like rings of fire, and she stiffened her shoulders, bracing for the whip to blaze across her back.

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  23. Laurie! This is amazing! I can hardly wait to read Printed on my Heart.

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  24. Intriguing, Carrie. I'd like to know more about Col. John Scott!

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  25. I'm so impressed with you all - Each and every one of you. Such a wonderful taste of good things to come!!

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