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What is the best way for a book to begin?
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How to best write the first sentence paragraph, and which book begins the best?
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WELCOME, READER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Personally I like the weather to be established within the first few lines, along with a detailed physical description of the protagonist.
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My book begins the best.

"I got dad’s ashes on my jeans today."
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Best opening paragraph is Moby-Dick
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>How to best write the first sentence paragraph
In media res desu

>which book begins the best?
Lolita, Moby Dick, Anna Karenina, A Tale of Two Cities and The Stranger have some of the famous.

I love the beginning of Marias' A Heart So White.

If on a winter's night a traveler is great too.

You should also check out Gabriel Garcia Marquez opening paragraphs. He knows how to hook the readers
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>>7615883
The best books begin with a genealogy detailed unto the twelfth generation of all the characters that appear in story
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I'm currently engrossed in a novel with a lovers eye view of the world of the arts, set in New York city and the greater metropolitan area, circa nineteen forty one.

It begins with a description of a storm passing through the city, and shortly thereafter proceeds to a hotel room for a bog standard mirror scene of the protagonist delivered via hotel mirror.

Two short paragraphs of traditional clichés, written well, with finely played details of mood, and descriptions, and characterizations all around and between, leaving me in a state of being there looking over the shoulder of the protagonist.

/lit/ can go bitch about story writing clichés all day long. If the rest of the writing is fresh and immersive, with resort to a few clichés drawn quickly and fine, it works.

Getting on with it so as to let the reader dive past is a greater use of technique than convoluted artistic pretensions.

A beginning flourish is fine. A spectacular remainder is better.
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I love the first sentence of Ulysses, "a mirror and a razor lay crossed" is just striking. If on a winter's night a traveler started a lot like >>7615875, but it was like "take a second to make sure you're really comfortable" and that was cool.

>>7615896
>>7615984
I usually dont like when a book starts out in the head of a character already.
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"Aujourd’hui, maman est morte."
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>>7616066
It baffles me how barbaric can french sound and look. Seriously, if this isnt the language of branch skipping monkeys, I dont know what is.
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>>7616005
Well, the book I'm writing -- the one with the ash-spreading at the beginning -- is YA schlock, so it's probably not for you anyway.

It's pretty okay though. I'm writing it more to make a name for myself so I can publish more literary stuff.
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>>7616005
Also, yeah, I loved the beginning of If On A Winter's Night a Traveller -- I feel that if someone did that today, though, it'd be considered cliche.
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>>7615984
City On Fire?
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>>7615959
And three page long descriptions of their clothing and equipment that never get brought up again.
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>>7616098
Yeah definitely, breaking the fourth wall in books and movies is done way too much for it to really be done well anymore
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>>7615984
>storm beginning
Robert Jordan? Is that u?
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>>7616123
There are no girls on the inter-

Hm. Excuse me, I seem to be mixing clichés.

There are no authors to be found on /lit/.
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>>7616101
By Garth Risk Hallberg?

Interesting title.

The Goodreads synopsis hints at a fascinating tour of contemporary life and the city, as told through a mystery.

But, no. 1976 is a far and forever distance from 1941.
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>>7616353
I missed the bit where you had the year.
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Invoke the Muses
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>>7615864
i gotta say, tristram shandy confused the shit out of me. that bastard was the REAL father of post-modernism. that douche.
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>>7616763
Gotta love the ending, though.
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>The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

It sets the mood with the negative imagery of a dead channel as abandoned technology, paints the environment as unpleasant, uses technology references as a way to describe nature and not the other way around to set the stage for the artificial environments the story is going to take place in.

Fucking perfect.
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>>7616772
i really never could get past the non linearity early on. i plan to go back to it eventually, but as it is now, i havent read it. just enough to be confused.
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The least dishonest sentence you can think of, about the story.
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>>7616824
its pretty cheesy but its so memorable
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>>7616824

by "dead channel" does it mean just black, or the white and black moving shit
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>In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

I've always really liked this one. Makes you wonder what the advice was. And the sentence is almost kind of awkward and run-ony yet it still works. It's almost like you read it in a single breath
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>>7616845
It means blue
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Have there been any books written purely in the style of journals?
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>>7617266
A journal of the plague year
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym might be
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>>7615883
What if it's told in first person, should the main character describe himself? Doesn't it seem a bit odd just to start out like "I'm 6'1" with a lean build, long arms, and lanky figure. My skin is pale and my right hand is bigger than my left. My eyes are green and my hair is brown."
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"I came to Comala because they told me my father, a certain Pedro Páramo lived there"
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See the child.
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>>7615883
I agree.

Although I dislike many things in Neuromancer, I love its beggining. It's a good example of describing the weather and the enviroment to give the tone.

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
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Sorry guys, I only saw >>7616824 after I replied (>>7618337).
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>>7616845
It means grey static
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>>7616845
I think he means like an analogic TV tunned in an "off the air" channel.
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>>7615899
This. Simples e perfeito, meu amigo.
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I think Gravity's Rainbow has a fantastic beginning, starting with a sound with little context and gradually filling in what is happening.
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Personally, I prefer the theme and tone be set from the very first sentence, but also under the pretense of doing something more mundane: setting the scene, describing a person, room, or the weather.

If it's first person, I want how the narrator describes to instantly tell me something important about them and that will be significant for them throughout the story. If it's third person, I don't mind giving him a little leeway to be more explicit about what the story is "about."

Since OP posted based Lawrence Sterne, here's an example from A Sentimental Journey:

>They order, said I, this matter better in France.—You have been in France? said my gentleman, turning quick upon me, with the most civil triumph in the world.—Strange! quoth I, debating the matter with myself, That one and twenty miles sailing, for ’tis absolutely no further from Dover to Calais, should give a man these rights:—I’ll look into them: so, giving up the argument,—I went straight to my lodgings, put up half a dozen shirts and a black pair of silk breeches,—“the coat I have on,” said I, looking at the sleeve, “will do;”—took a place in the Dover stage; and the packet sailing at nine the next morning,—by three I had got sat down to my dinner upon a fricaseed chicken, so incontestably in France, that had I died that night of an indigestion, the whole world could not have suspended the effects of the droits d’aubaine; [557]—my shirts, and black pair of silk breeches,—portmanteau and all, must have gone to the King of France;—even the little picture which I have so long worn, and so often have told thee, Eliza, I would carry with me into my grave, would have been torn from my neck!—Ungenerous! to seize upon the wreck of an unwary passenger, whom your subjects had beckoned to their coast!—By heaven! Sire, it is not well done; and much does it grieve me, ’tis the monarch of a people so civilized and courteous, and so renowned for sentiment and fine feelings, that I have to reason with!—

>But I have scarce set a foot in your dominions.—

Hilarious. In a short paragraph, the narrator is arguing about about the order of some "matter" (we never find out what), is struck by an idea, find himself in France, gets so carried away by his own description of his haste that he lets it become a full scenario he becomes passionately involved in, all before abruptly falling out of it with a reminder that this is the mere beginning to a story.
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