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Lisa Hartjes

I have to agree with you about the importance of the opening of a novel. That first hundred, and then thousand, words are the most important - and most difficult - to write.

Stephanie Capo

The way you write is exquisite, your writing style and the words you chose.I believe I would go about purcasing any of those.

Tony Scally (United Kingdom)

What do you make of the Lulu self publishing concept?


Paul Humphreys

My first line:

"The Catholic priest was the only one in the room with a sun tan."



You're absolutely right about the importance of the first line and how to achieve a positive effect. I will now give my first line for a story I'm writing:

De vijftiende dag van de zesde maand in het jaar 2006. Het was op die dag het begon: die waanzinnige maalstroom aan gebeurtenissen, die onverwachte wending van de geschiedenis, die het eind van de wereld zoals die gekend was inluidde - het begon allemaal op die ene zonnige namiddag. Het begon allemaal in een duister zaaltje. Het was de ontmoetingsplaats van een sekte.

This probably won't mean anything to you, since it is written in Dutch. In translation, it would be something like this:

The fifteenth day of the fifteenth month of the year 2006. It was that day is started, that insane maelstrom of events, that unexpected twist of history, which announced the end of the world as it was known - it all started during that sunny afternoon. It all started in an obscure chamber. It was the meeting place of a sect.

I wish you lots of luck with your writing.

Andy 'Andreo' Peetermans, 15 years, Flanders (Belgium).

E.L. Green

In my case, I was examining the problem of power as expressed in anarchist philosophy and contrasting that with reality as expressed in places like Somalia and Iraq, and ruminating upon Chairman Mao's statement that "power flows from the barrel of a gun". Which is true, to a certain extent -- the power of the State, for example, relies upon a monopoly upon major forms of violence (fail to pay your taxes or ignore the State's restrictions upon things such as traffic lights and see what I mean, the State will seize you or your property at gunpoint). Yet simplistic. Mao had one part of the equation right, but forgot about other things, such as the ability of money to buy guns, the ability of fervent support amongst the people to provide guns or deny guns, the willingness of people to use guns (the problem with anarchist theory is that it ignores the reality that most people are apalled by violence and thus removal of the government inevitably ends up with rule by sociopaths who enjoy violence), etc. The example of the American South in the late 1860's where the majority ended up re-enslaved because the minority had military training and more guns was on my mind too.

So I sat down and asked myself, "what am I going to write? What is the title of this thing?". I picked a title out of thin air. I asked myself, "who is the protagonist of this thing?". I came up with a protagonist, who, I must admit, was created primarily as a reaction to the protagonist of a neo-noir where in my opinion said neo-noir got it both right and wrong. Then I sat down and wrote: "Power grows from the barrel of a gun."

The rest went from there. We now know there's guns, there's going to be (presumably men) of power, and other things of that nature, even if in this case said gun is being held by a Barney Fife impersonator in the employ of a security company.

Just write. And BTW, the last line of chapter 1 is as important as the 1st line. If it doesn't give someone a reason to turn the page and see what happens in chapter 2, you're not going to sell.

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