Writing Wednesdays

I’m doing this one kind of late today.  It’s a busy busy time for me this month and this is the first moment I have to spend some time of this…

I’d like to applaud the work of Maggie Stiefvater, whose writing I have come to love.  I don’t always fall for authors.  I usually fall for particular books and don’t care to read other works by that author.  As a writer myself, I can see how horrifying this is, but at the same time it’s all about the art and not the artist.

But I think I will read anything that Ms. Stiefvater writes.  A couple of years ago, I read her modern werewolf series SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER and I was struck by the haunting poetry of her writing.  And it was quite a story of survival and change and while the characters were a little thin, the style carried the work and I fell in love.  Here’s the opening paragraph:

Chapter One – Grace

15°F

I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surround by wolves.  They were licking me, worrying at my body, pressing in.  Their huddled bodies blocked what little heat the sun offered.  Ice glistened on their ruffs and their breath made opaque shapes that hung in the air around us.  The musky smell of their coats made me think of wet dog and burning leaves, pleasant and terrifying.  Their tongues melted my skin; their careless teeth ripped at my sleeves and snagged through my hair, pushed against my collarbone, the pulse at my neck.

Stephen King wrote a piece recently in The Atlantic on opening sentences and how writers can spend years crafting them.  I must admit I browse through the bookstore opening books and reading the first line, then if the first line grabs me I read the next.  If it doesn’t interest me by the end of that first paragraph, I put the book down.

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