Beginnings are possible the most important aspect of your writing; if your words don’t leap off the page and clutch your reader by the eyelashes, then they may slip away and read something else.
Here, Lois Elsden shares her her favourite ‘beginnings’:
Endings are vital… satisfactory endings are compulsory but beginnings have to leap off the page and grab your reader. The words have to mesmerise them and pull them in under your spell.
My favourite book: “The truth is, if old Major Dover hadn’t dropped dead at Taunton races Jim would never have come to Thursgood’s at all.”
The book I’m reading at the moment: “I came into aviation the hard way.”
A favourite book by a favourite author: “The day they drowned Dendale I were seven years old.”
My favourite children’s book: “The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow, Squire Trelawney, Dr Livesey, and the rest of the gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is treasure still not lifted, I take my pen in the year of grace 17_ and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodgings under our roof.”
John le Carré – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Neville Shute – Round the Bend, Reginald Hill – On Beulah Heights, Robert Louis Stevenson – Treasure Island