Let’s say you walk into a bookstore with about $25 in your pocket on the prowl for a good read. You pick up one volume, open to the beginning and read a short chapter called “Leaflets”:
“At dusk they pour from the sky. They blow across the ramparts, turn cartwheels over rooftops, flutter into the ravines between houses. Entire streets swirl with them, flashing white against the cobbles. Urgent message to the inhabitants of this town, they say, Depart immediately to open country.”
That’s a fine opening, I would say. I like the setting, defined by action. I like the little mystery of what “they” are. I like the text within a text, suggesting a city under siege.
It’s fair to say that other folks like that beginning too. Read more