How could you stop reading this?

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

The current issue of Writer's Digest has an article called "Openings That Kill It," discussing how to get your story off with a bang. One of the examples featured is from another author I admire, John D. MacDonald, author of the popular Travis McGee series. The book quoted is Darker Than Amber (1966), and the first line is this:

We were about to give up and call it a night when somebody dropped the girl off the bridge.

In just 19 words, JDM establishes the story problem and sets up the whole book! As the WD author's comment says, "How could you possibly stop reading this book?"

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