The Thinking Quill

Mes chers lecteurs qui ecrit,

It is one, the ever exquisite Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV…  world-renowned author of the classic ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’ and patient writer of these handcrafted ‘Thinking Quill’ bon mots with which I seek to educate, inform and inflame the imaginative juices of my adoring followers. Fret not, mes estudas, that you may never be as talented, or beauteous as your teacher. Follow in the footsteps of one’s infinite wisdom and even your poor weakling Muse shall be uplifted of the wings of a Moonbeam

How to Start Writing a Book – Lesson 7. The Write Beginning

It is a truth that cannot be overemphasised that the first sentence of a book is the bait with which to put hooks into the soft underbelly of your putative reader and claw him into the world you have been so painstakingly crafting. Choose your words with care, craft and calculation, my children. For each and every book can only have one first sentence…

For myself, I find the creation of the first words in any work as full of pain as that delicate beauty who is my own Mama found giving birth to me.

“Moony,” she often says, “if I’d known how much squirting your oversized cranium out of my fanny would hurt, I’d have been a fucking sight more proactive with the hot baths and the gin.”

But one digresses. First lines.

Let your hooking of the reader be as sharp as the tongue of an ungrateful child, as cutting as the condemnation of a disappointed mother, as innocent as the first kiss of a virgin mouth, as knowing as the compère in Cabaret, and as gnomically engrossing as the dragons of literature who overfly your work. Take as your inspiration the works of she whose rose-coloured prose makes beat faster the heart of your beloved tutor. Use your very first sentence to introduce the proud beauty in whose trials and tribulations you intend your devoted reader to invest time, love, worry, and, of course, the pecuniary outlay necessary to purchase your elegant work.

Make your sentence long and include all the information you can. Do not be fooled by those who counsel brevity. They are the basest dogs of conventionality, the creeping rats of mediocrity, and the unsound practitioners of a black art that seeks to sap you of your creative juices.

No my children, in the symphony that is literary exposition at its finest let us begin with a crescendo. Let the conductor bring down his baton on a crashing chord of instrumental noise that will reverberate within your reader’s head forever. Begin With A Bang.

In conclusion, there is one more point to consider. And that one is moot to our whole lesson. Let us ponder momentarily those unfortunates whose books are remembered for their first lines and very little else – as in Mister Orwell’s oddly distorted historical drama, and Miss Austen’s rather anodyne love story. To them I can only say one thing. You begun well; shame about the rest of your book.

And there it is mes enfants, the secrets for a perfect beginning.

Until next. Ecrit Bon…

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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