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Work Room - Week 28

I'll just go ahead and throw out the definition from Wiki, for the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/805095.html or at least the first part of it.

Because having a starting point for your thought process can be helpful:

"In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, named after Nicolaus Copernicus, states that Earth is not in a central, specially favored position in the universe.[1] More recently, the principle has been generalized to the relativistic concept that humans are not privileged observers of the universe.[2] In this sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle, with important implications for the philosophy of science."

"I'll just go ahead and throw out the definition from Wiki..." is a lousy way to grab your attention. My only reason I can get away with it is that I have a bit of a captive audience. ;)

You're not as lucky. You need to grab someone from the first sentence and make them *want* to read more.

What is your favorite "OMG... I need to read more" opening line, and what did you learn from it for crafting your own?


( 60 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 14th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
Favorite opening line:

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number 4 Privet Drive were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

It's the "thank you very much" that gets me, every time. At eleven, I was sucked in and devoured the first three Harry Potter books. And yes, I typed that line from memory. :)
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:11 am (UTC)
You were 11 when there were three Harry Potter books????

I am so old.
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Nov. 14th, 2014 03:24 am (UTC)
My favorite opening line:
"Once upon a time, there was a Martian named Smith; he was as real as taxes, but he was a race of one."


I am an egg.

Edited at 2014-11-14 03:26 am (UTC)
Nov. 14th, 2014 04:04 am (UTC)
Re: My favorite opening line:
Xtreme comment love from me!

This whole month has been a litany of "man, I want to reread that, too."
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:26 am (UTC)
Honestly, I think the only "opening line" that I have memorized is from a children's book that I loved when I was a wee thing, and still have a copy (not my original one) on the bookshelf, and every now and then I re-read it just because it still amuses me. The book is called "A Little Ballerina" and (if memory still serves) it starts out thus:

Carol and her dog Cindy watched the children playing outside. Carol wanted to play with them but she could not, because her legs were weak. It made her tired to run and jump like the other boys and girls.

Of course, that's why her parents signed her up for ballet lessons, to help strengthen her legs. I could really relate to the story since I had leg braces when I was a youngling, to help correct severe in-toeing. It's just one of those stories that sort of sticks with you, not unlike The Poky Little Puppy.

Edited at 2014-11-14 03:27 am (UTC)
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:33 am (UTC)
My favorite is and probably always will be from Roger Zelazny's Trumps of Doom:

"It is a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you."
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:40 am (UTC)
He goes quite descriptive there, and in places it also makes you wonder how familiar the author is with what drugs :-)
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Nov. 14th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

The wording is gripping, and you immediately want to know what on Middle Earth is as hobbit and why he lived in the hole. And then the second sentence goes

" Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

and it's hook, line and sinker. Vivid and descriptive and tells a lot about this hobbit already.
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:48 am (UTC)
So a new World of Warcraft expansion pack launched today, and now of course there are issues. Like I don't imagine I'm getting back into the game tonight.

So I went to the forums.

If anyone is planning to write about a really self-involved person who thinks the world revolves around them, you could visit the WoW forums for a lot of inspiration right now.

As for me...I will probably go non-fiction yet again. Only I'm on vacation next week! So if I can tear myself away from WoW and/or the server issues continue, I should be able to put more effort in this time.

But yeah, like - that's my whole philosophy of life right there, about how humans aren't really that special and how I think the point of life really is to try your best to see beyond your own ego.

Nothing springs to mind for a favorite first line other than stuff from my own work, lol. Being a bit Copernican principled over here, I guess.

Edited at 2014-11-14 03:49 am (UTC)
Nov. 16th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
That's my philosophy on life, too. Humans are just another animal that has evolved like the rest of the animals on earth, there is more than just us here, we're not that big a deal, etc.
Nov. 14th, 2014 04:24 am (UTC)
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
Nov. 14th, 2014 04:53 am (UTC)
What book is this?
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Nov. 14th, 2014 04:41 am (UTC)
Все говорят: Кремль, Кремль. Ото всех я слышал про него, а сам ни разу не видел. Сколько раз уже (тысячу раз), напившись или с похмелюги, проходил по Москве с севера на юг, с запада на восток, из конца в конец, насквозь и как попало - и ни разу не видел Кремля.

Everybody says: the Kremlin, the Kremlin. For all I've heard about it, not once have I seen the Kremlin myself. How many times (a thousand times), drunk or hungover, have I wandered over Moscow from north to south, from east to west, from end to end, thoroughly and at random - and not once have I seen the Kremlin.

(Fine, that's like three lines. We Slavs are a long-winded people.) But you've got that weird, poetic, nervous energy and the sense that something is being hidden and in those shadowy, nightmarish places, something is very wrong. It's also kinda funny. It's like a perfect slice of the rest of the book, which is called Moscow-Petushki by Venedikt Erofeev. I think it was translated as Moscow Stations or Moscow to the End of the Line.
Nov. 14th, 2014 05:42 am (UTC)
First thought on the topic (second explanation) is 'love thy neighbour as thyself' and how that implies you should love yourself too, otherwise how will you love your neighbour?
Nov. 14th, 2014 06:46 am (UTC)
See Spot run. It was on from there!

There are just too many books to choose from...but I know that was the first sentence I ever read on my own. I also remember I couldn't wait to start school so I would be taught how!
Nov. 14th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
Haha, I only vividly remember that the first book I suddenly read to myself, silently, was about the local birds. Before that I only read out loud then it just happened as if a switch was turned.
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Nov. 14th, 2014 11:04 am (UTC)
"Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree." Terry Pratchett, Hogfather. Perfect for the Discworld's tongue in cheek, though thought-provoking, take on science, reality, magic, and the power of story and belief.
Nov. 14th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
"-to wound the autumnal city."
(Samuel Delany, "Dhalgren")
Nov. 14th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
It's really too classic for the regular reader in me, but:

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

This is what I want to do with my narratives, jumping forwards and backwards through time. So elegant.
Nov. 14th, 2014 08:27 pm (UTC)
Some of the most memorable opening lines are from books I haven't read, and possibly never will (Dickens!)

I love a great opening line, but with the quantity of books I do and have read... it's hard for any to really stick out.

Maybe I'm equally favorable to setting/atmosphere? The opening line of "To Kill a Mockingbird" is no heartstopper, but what a book...
Nov. 15th, 2014 02:19 am (UTC)
The line that cemented my fondness for H.P. Lovecraft...

"It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer."

The amusing backstory behind ***why*** it's my favourite opening line?

I was reading this on a couch, with MY best friend leaning over my shoulder, and we both said at the same time, "Don't get any ideas!"
Nov. 16th, 2014 11:07 pm (UTC)
Hehe, that's hilarious!!
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