Openings and Voices 4

Published August 2, 2012 by Elsa Pla

The exercise I’m working on all this week:

Analyze and emulate the opening (first lines or paragraphs) of several stories or novels, each written by a different favorite author. This exercise will help you practice how to hook your reader, but most importantly, it will help you discover and develop your voice through the study of a favorite author’s voice. If you love the voice of an author, it’s probably because you identify with his/her voice; that is, your voices have something in common. This exercise will help you discover those commonalities.

No specific opening today, just a bit of edgy-YA-urban-fantasy fun in the style of Holly Black.

Once upon a time, not-so-long ago, a half-fairy girl with eyes the color of new leaves was born. She was the offspring of a noble and handsome human doctor from New York and a cruel and beautiful fairy queen from the Northern Realm. She was, of course, not a product of love, because — as you well know, and if you don’t, you should — fairies cannot love, and because the good doctor had not been in love with the fairy queen, but instead had been under the influence of magical fairy food and glamour when he had agreed to have sexual intercourse with her.

The child’s coming into the world had been a total surprise. One moment the fairy queen had been enjoying a decadent dinner in the company of two sexy satyrs, and the next she had found herself birthing a baby. The queen’s attendant quickly and discretely caught the newborn and slipped out of the soirée, but not quickly and discreetly enough. The shocked satyrs awkwardly excused themselves, and the embarrassed queen cursed New York doctors and condoms for weeks.


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