A good opening leads you into another world–the world of the story. Here are a few that got my attention from The Best American Short Stories 2014:
From David Gates‘ “A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me” :
The name Paul Thompson won’t mean any more to you than my name would, but if you’d been around the bluegrass scene in New York some thirty years ago, you would have heard the stories.
From Lauren Groff’s “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners“:
Jude was born in a cracker-style house at the edge of a swamp that boiled with unnamed species of reptiles.
From Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s “The Judge’s Will“:
After his second heart attack, the judge knew that he could no longer put off informing his wife about the contents of his will.
From Benjamin Nugent’s “God“:
He called her God because she wrote a poem about how Caleb Newton ejaculated prematurely the night she slept with him, and because she shared the poem with her friends.
From Joyce Carol Oates’ “Mastiff“:
Earlier, on the trail, they’d seen it.
From Stephen O’ Connor’s “Next to Nothing“:
The Soros Sisters’ eyes are the blue of lunar seas, their complexions cloud white, and their identical pageboys well-bottom black.
Whether it adds a bit of mystery, introduces readers to an interesting character, or takes us into a world unlike our own, a good opening grabs attention in a good way…and unlike Hollywood, it doesn’t need to be accomplished with a car crash or a chase scene.
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