Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Last Lines

Posted November 20, 2011 by jim young in Media

– jim young
“I think when you read a good first line it’s like falling in love with somebody. Your heart starts pounding… it opens up all the possibilities.” – Nancy Pearl
There are 3 important parts to every story or article.

1. The “wink” or the title is what will attract you to the story or article in the first place.

2. And as Nancy Pearl suggests, the first line is intended to make you fall in love.

3. The last line however, is the orgasm and should leave the reader satisfied and reaching for the proverbial cigarette. It’s what makes all the rest, worth the trip.

While some would say the middle is the substance of the story or the article, I think it’s all just fluff to get you from Point A (the wink) to Point B (the orgasm).

Here’s 10 great first lines that are bound to make you “fall in love” with their stories. You’ll probably know some of them even if you haven’t read the books.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

“You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.” —Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” – J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

“All this happened, more or less.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)

“He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.” – Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

“You better not never tell nobody but God.” – Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

“Call me Ishmael.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851)

“Marley was dead, to begin with.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)

“Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

To be honest, when I write, I think I suck at the “winks”. I just don’t have that “come hither” look. I wish I had someone that could write good titles for me.

And I’m not sure I’m even very good at making you fall in love (the first line) with my articles.

But at the risk of sounding like a braggart, I think the orgasm is where I’m strongest. If the reader just knew how good the finish was going to be, I think I would have more readers.

So just as I gave you 10 first lines to fall in love with the writings of other authors, here are 10 of my favourite orgasms from my own work that I hope will lead you to at least check out the winks.

Let me know what you think.

“As long as each day can be a new and exciting experience filled with roses to smell and butterflies to chase, you need never fear growing old.” The Lost Butterfly

“So if changing the letters in print, or the words in the movies isn’t changing what we’re reading or hearing – tell me one more time – Why the f… are they doing it?” The F-Word

“Jeez – if the Christians can’t even work out their own differences and get along any better than that, what hope then do we have for a united country that is respectful and tolerant of all cultures that make up what should be this great country we call Canada?” Should We Allow The Lord’s Prayer In Our Schools?

“Maybe we should do as they did in Boston that time and have a tea party of our own.” That’s Where The Money Goes

“Too bad snowflakes weren’t more like M&Ms.” Without Question

“I think it’s time to put some of these watchdogs back in their kennels.” Whose Watching The Watchdogs?

“If I help put the next lying bastard into power then I have only myself to blame.” What If They Had An Election And Nobody Came?

“Sometimes, some people just deserve to be deceived.” Caveat Emptor – There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute

“And I still don’t know who the good guys really are.” Gadhafi, My Daughter & Me

“But just as one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch, it takes more than 1 spoon of sugar to sweeten the lemonade.” They’re All Such Liars

And then sometimes there really is no beginning or end.

“A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” – Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (1951)

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