Pose for the paparazzi. Autograph your books.
Write like a dream, promote like a rock star.
Fame and fortune are yours!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jumpstart Monday // The Eight

Here's one of my favorite first sentences...

A flock of nuns crossed the road, their crisp wimples fluttering about their heads like the wings of large sea birds. ~ Katherine Neville, The Eight

Can't you just see the image? I was tempted to grab a picture for this post, but that would have defeated the purpose of such wonderful visual writing. The other day my daughter was describing a movie she had seen but complained that it was nothing like the pictures she had in her head as she was reading the book. So rather than mess up the mental image you have of wimples flapping like birds wings, I decided to let the words paint their own picture.

The use of "wimples" is perfect in Neville's first sentence. It serves an expository function – that is, the nuns' habit tells something right off about their order, and even though we don't know just yet where the story takes place, we know the locale must be exotic. (I don't think I've ever seen a nun wearing a wimple on the south side of Chicago.)

Nowadays a lot of what passes for exposition gives me a rash. I tell you, if Neville had described the scene rather than shown it to us, I wouldn't have bought the book.

Wonderful craftsmanship. Now I'm ready to get to work.

No comments:

Post a Comment