The Atlantic posted an interesting article in which 22 authors talk about their favorite first lines of books. Eight of the authors queried are women, and only two of the favorite lines are by women, both cited by a woman author who cheated and responded with two favorites.
Despite these discouraging statistics, I plan to continue to write, even though I’m a woman myself.
It’s a scary thing to commit to your opening lines. I often use a paragraph that originally appeared further down in the the story, moving it to the start and revising to make it work. When I start a story, the first few paragraphs are usually just warm-up. Later I weave them into some exposition or discard them.
I’m getting started on the next installment of the Chimera series. This one will be told from Chloe’s point of view.
I envision the series as fantasy adventures that take place in the context of everyday life in a small city in the Berkshires. Chloe, the Chimera, and a few of their close associates are the recurring characters.
As a jumping off point, I’m trying to imagine in some detail what Chloe’s life is like as she starts school in a new town, with a new family, after her mother’s death. She’s got a lot of good things going on, but she also has to deal with her grief and the weirdness of her mother’s transformation into the Chimera.
Chloe pursues her interest in art by volunteering at MassMoca, the contemporary art museum in North Adams, and taking a sculpture class there. Chloe, the Chimera, and their friends are drawn into a mythic adventure through an art work in the museum.
Earliest known image of a Chimera
I just wrote a short story that might serve as a kind of creation myth or back story for a fantasy series. I’d love to know what you think of it after you read it.
In the story, a single mom, Caroline, learns she is dying. At the same time she discovers that she has a mythic connection to the Chimera, a creature with a lion’s body, a snake tail, and wings.
Caroline is all alone in the world except for her 14 year old daughter Chloe. Chloe is desperately unhappy because she doesn’t fit in at school, and she’s being bullied.