On impulse, I decided to take a fresh look at the opening lines of my books as a means to see if my writing has improved. Here’s what I came up with.
Book 1. “Charlie hated mornings, due, in no small part, to his having the sleep habits of a caffeine-addicted owl.” (Okay.)
Book 2. “Charlie sat in a long boat on a calm lagoon, wishing Robin would sit still for once.” (Yawn.)
Book 3. Charlie lay in the thick brush, trying not to breathe. (That’s turrible.)
Book 4. “A bloody Rembrandt, this guy, God.” (Okay, now we’re getting there.)
Book 5. “The People have been walking for weeks.” (That’s not bad.)
Book 6. “I’d been driving all day, sucking in western Oklahoma road dust, and I wasn’t in the mood for any more damned mysteries. ” (Suddenly, I’m learning to write.)
Book 7. ” It was February before I realized she had begun to unravel the stitching from my life.” (Mucho likeo.)
The moral of this story is that weak beginnings lead to weak middles and endings. My first three books improved as they progressed, but they needed to start stronger. I’m in the process of rewriting the entire trilogy, mainly for that reason. They will not start with the word “Charlie.”
I’m happy with the last two. I guess that’s a sign that I’ve progressed or at least changed.