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by Seuzz
Rated: 13+ · Book · How-To/Advice · #2111364
Reprint and analysis of story and novel openings
This item focuses on story openings. It gives the first 200 words (approx.) of various short stories or novels. These are the passages that are designed to launch a story, and are meant to tempt you into reading more.

Sometimes they work beautifully. Sometimes they don't.

This collection reprints the openings of some of the stories and novels I've read, and includes some analysis and discussion of each as I judge whether the openings work, and how they go right -- or wrong.
H. Q. Masur
March 22, 2017 at 3:24pm
"Homicide Wholesale" (1941) by H. Q. Masur Less than ten minutes after I had checked into the Hotel Rouen, a furtive knock sounded on my door. I opened it and there stood the night porter with a grin on his wrinkled old face. "Got i... [Read more]
John Collier
March 22, 2017 at 3:25pm
From Fancies and Goodnights , a collection of short stories. "Bottle Party" (1939) Franklin Fletcher dreamed of luxury in the form of tiger-skins and beautiful women. He was prepared, at a pinch, to forgo the tiger-skins. Unfortunately... [Read more]
Some Notes on Openings
February 25, 2017 at 3:18pm
The following is a summary of points made by James Scott Bell in his essay "Relate to Readers with a Lead Character," in Creating Characters: Writers' Digest. Mostly, an opening should set a mood, get a character involved early, an... [Read more]
G. K. Chesterton
March 22, 2017 at 3:26pm
Note: Not a complete sample of the anthology. * * * "The Flying Stars" (1911) "The most beautiful crime I ever committed," Flambeau would say in his highly moral old age, "was also, by a singular coincidence, my last. It ... [Read more]
Guys Read: Terrifying Tales
March 5, 2017 at 12:51am
Note: Not a complete sample of the anthology. * * * "Coconut Heads" (2015) by Rita Williams-Garcia This is how I know something's different about my mother. My waste not, want not, save-don't-spend mother says to me, while we... [Read more]
The First Science Fiction Megapack
March 22, 2017 at 3:25pm
Note: Not a complete sample of the anthology. * * * "Expediter" (1963) by Mack Reynolds The knock at the door came in the middle of the night, as Josip Pekic had always thought it would. He had been but four years of age when the kno... [Read more]
The Pulp Fiction Megapack
March 22, 2017 at 4:03pm
Note: Not a complete sample of the anthology. * * * "Servant of the Beast" (1930) by L. Patrick Greene The man lay full length on a ledge of rock overhanging the swift-flowing river. He seemed to be alone in a desolate waste of stony... [Read more]
The Second Western Megapack
March 22, 2017 at 4:56pm
Note: Not a complete sample of the anthology. * * * "Ready for a Coffin" (1952) by Gene Austin There was a heavy silence in the saloon as the big man got to his feet, holding his bloody mouth with one hand and beating the sawdust off... [Read more]
The Monster Megapack
March 22, 2017 at 3:26pm
"After I Stopped Screaming" by Pamela Sargent The blonde in the big ape's hand. Long before you had Rita Hayworth on that bed in a negligee or Marilyn standing over that grate with her skirt billowing up, there were all those pictures ... [Read more]
Short Stories -- Random
March 14, 2017 at 6:17pm
The openings to some random short stories. * * * "A Dying Art" by Chris Holm The bell above the shop door jingled as Anton Russo shuffled across the threshold and stepped inside. It was tarnished and dulled with age, a relic from ano... [Read more]
Novels
March 14, 2017 at 2:01pm
Openings of some novels. * * * Agents of Change by Guy Harrison Awake at an obscene Saturday hour for a teenager, the girl looks into the distance as the rising sun behind her gives her otherwise golden hair a bright orange hue. Biking alo... [Read more]
Rex Stout
February 7, 2017 at 1:23am
Rex Stout seems to have been a master of story openings. Rarely does he get one wrong. * * * "Heels of Fate" by Rex Stout I first began to drop in at Dal Willett's livery stable for an hour's chat, on my way home from the off... [Read more]

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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2111364