Dramatic Lead • “Whenever I got into trouble, my mother always had a straight look at me. I would start to cry then, not out loud but in my heart.” • “In 1974 my family canceled Christmas.” • Starting in the Middle of a Scene • “Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity – Good. His dad had the pickup going. He could get up now.” (Bridget to Terabithia) • “’Where’s Papa going with that axe?’ Said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.” (Charlotte’s Web) Beginnings Some to try:
3. Leisurely Lead “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the seat of a ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from the balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.” (Tuck Everlasting) Beginnings, cont’d.
4. Beginning at the Ending “One day last spring, Louis, a butcher, turned into a fish. Silvery scales. Big lips. A tail. A salmon.” (Louis the Fish) 5. Introducing the Narrator 1. “Call me Ishmael.” (Moby Dick) 2. “I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” (Leaves of Grass) 3. “True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” (“Tall Tale Heart”) Beginnings, cont’d.
4. The Misleading Lead • “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (“The Lottery”) • 5. The Ambiguous Lead • 1. “From behind a tree, I saw a man-like figure lumber into the forest.” • 2. “In most ways I am just like other kids my age.” (Leaves of Grass) • 5. Others… • - “Did you know that the sucking power of an infant is five times as strong as the sucking power of an adult?” • “My parents met in Saigon in 1968, the Year of the Snake.” • “A 42 year old man. A man of heart and soul.” Beginnings, cont’d.
Endings • Profound Thought • “Miss Honey was still hugging the tiny girl in her arms and neither of them said a word as they stood there watching the big black car tearing round the corner at the end of the road and disappearing forever into the distance.” (Matilda) • Surprise • “Once again the tarot cards lay before him. Once again the bells rang twelve times. At the stroke of midnight, he flipped over the first card. It was THE SERVANT. Smiling broadly, Fabrizio turned the next card…” (Midnight Magic)
Endings • Quote • “Very softly, she half sang, half summed a song that her grandmother used to sing… ‘If only, if only, the moon speaks no reply; Reflecting the sun and all that’s gone by. Be strong my weary wolf, turn around boldly, Fly high, my baby bird, My angel, my only.’” (Holes) • Tie-Up • “Then I ran ahead to put the plates on the table.” (Homesick: My Own Story)
Endings • Question or Open-Ended Statement • “And soon, they were rolling on again, leaving Treegap behind, and as they went, the tinkling little melody of a music box drifted out behind them and was lost at last far down the road.’” (Tuck Everlasting) • A Challenge • “And because so many of them were always begging him to tell and tell again the story of his adventures on the peach, he thought it would be nice if one day he sat down and wrote a book. So he did. And that is what you have just finished reading.” (James and the Giant Peach)
Endings • Summary • “And because so many of them were always begging him to tell and tell again the story of his adventures on the peach, he thought it would be nice if one day he sat down and wrote a book. So he did. And that is what you have just finished reading.” (James and the Giant Peach) • Literary Device • “This is why, walking across a school campus on this particular December morning, I keep searching the sky. As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying toward heaven.” (“A Christmas Memory”)