Monday, August 6, 2012

Well, another week has come and gone (said in a wistful, Charlie-Brown-like voice). Last Monday I stated my desire to give new life to this feature (and my reading habits) by diving into some C.S. Lewis books this month (What I Should Be Reading). But I must confess that my reading goals on my personal blog - catching up on review books during the End of Summer Push - has taken precedence over Prince Caspian...
However, I did at least start Prince Caspian, I'm happy to say! I'm not quite a third of the way through, so I'll focus today's post on novel beginnings.

Prince Caspian is a sequel (technically the fourth in the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, but from what I've heard of the third book, this is really the sequel to the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). The first paragraph references The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and it doesn't quite stand out as a shining example of an exciting hook, although it is interesting in its own right. 

So let's just move on to the opening scenes. While our schooling experiences might not be the same as that of the Pevensie children, most readers can relate to the drag of school starting again. What better time for an adventure to begin than when the main characters are least expecting it, and are, in fact, expecting the future to be rather dull and sad? Then, boom!, they're called away to the land of Narnia where everything is the opposite of what they had been dreading. Now they're concerned about survival, about remembering past glory, and about figuring out the mystery of their return to Narnia.

In our own writing, starting a story out in a place of uncertainty or fear or even boredom and then quickly changing up the pace and the expectations can be a great way of drawing the reader in and creating sympathy for and interest in the characters. It's certainly one option worth exploring! 

I could go on and talk more about sequels... But for the moment it's late Sunday night (or early Monday morning - whichever way you want to look at it) where I am, so I'm going to leave it at this for now. Hopefully I'll have some more reading and preparation under my belt for the next post! Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to exploring Narnia more in my reading and through these posts!


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