Buggered Mind of Neale Sourna, The

Opines, comments, rants, concerns, imaginings from Neale Sourna, fiction author and more -- www.Neale-Sourna.com, www.PIE-Percept.com, www.ProjectKeanu.com, www.AuthorsDen.com/nealesourna, www.CafeShops.com/NealeSourna, www.Writing-Naked.com, & www.CuntSinger.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bringing the Dead to Life Notes on Twilight by Bill Johnson


A Story is a Promise

I'm always curious when a book becomes a phenomena. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, is such a novel. So I bought it to see how the story 'works' to draw in its audience. In these notes I'll begin by breaking down the novel's opening preface line by line.

First line,

I'd never given much thought to how I would die--though I'd had reason enough in the last few months--but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.

This is pure drama, which I define as an anticipation of an outcome. There are many dramatic questions here.

    Why did the narrator have reasons to imagine his or her death?
    What kind of death is the narrator facing, that he or she couldn't have imagined it?
    What situation does the narrator find him or herself in?
    Where is the narrator?

To get the answer to these questions, the reader has to read the next sentence. That is the prime responsibility of the first sentence of a novel, that a reader be compelled to read a second sentence. That's why this kind of mysterious first sentence is often seen in popular novels. A first sentence that is not compelling becomes a first step in a reader disengaging from a novel. I teach that it's three steps and the reader is gone.

There's a difference between a dramatic question and a question....


A Story is a Promise

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