This is the blog where we dissect the opening sentences of popular works of fiction. Few people outside of the writing community know how much blood, sweat, and tears go into crafting the perfect Opening Line; and for that reason, I want to bring attention to the incredible work that a writer puts into these first few words. Today we will examine my very own novel, The Bastard Boys of Montezuma.
First let’s take a look at the blurb:
Cash Holliday and Marshall Earp are the illegitimate sons of the most notorious gunslingers in the West. Despite a lingering bad economy in 1896, the two operate a flourishing detective agency, largely thanks to selective partnerships.
When Sheriff Kristof Varga hands Marshall a bounty for the infamous Cactus Kid, they realize their business could change overnight. But Cash receives a letter stating some of his late father’s possessions are in Tombstone and he becomes interested in a different pursuit. Faced with lying to his best friend, crazy superstitions, a girl with a mysterious past, and a Pinkerton agent who is hot on their trail, Cash must decide if he’s willing to risk their lives for the secrets of a father he never knew.
This was such a fun book to write. Challenging, but fun. It took a lot of research to accurately write about the 1800s, but boy was it interesting.
Let’s examine my Opening Line:
“Across the street, I counted six crows perched on the rooftop of the funeral home, which was as ironic as it was prophetic.”
What do you think? Do you like it? Here’s what I hoped to accomplish with this line.
“Across the street, I counted six crows perched on the rooftop of the funeral home…”
I give an eerie location and an even eerier sight to catch the reader’s attention.
“which was as ironic as it was prophetic.”
Then I hit you with this statement, which I hope makes you ask the following questions:
Why is it ironic to see six crows sitting on the rooftop of a funeral home?
What is the significance of crows? Six in particular.
And finally, why is this sight prophetic? Does it have to do with the site, the funeral home, and alluding to death?
If you want to find out, click the Barnes & Noble link.