David Corbett over at Murderati has got me thinking about voice in fiction writing. Below I’ve got 5 story openings. I haven’t put down the authors because it is interesting to read them without having the author’s prestige, or lack thereof tied to the quotes. Even in these few opening lines, each voice is quite distinct. Who do you read because their voice is just so compelling?
1.In his seventeenth year of life, Jai gained an empire and lost everything he valued.
Stately buildings faced a plaza tiled in white and grey stone. clouds hung low in the sky, their drizzle saturating the air. Evening had come, a time when the heat of the sixty-two-hour day on the world Delos called enough to make the temperature tolerable for its human colonists
2. The world is full of broken people. splints, casts, miracle drugs, and time can’t mend fractured hearts, wounded minds, torn spirits.
Currently, sunshine was Micky Bellsong’s medication of choice, and southern California in late August was an apothecary with a deep supply of this prescription.
3. The ministry of State Security had been positively shocked when they found that a Nazi agent, more heroic than prudent, had almost reached N. Rogov.
Rogov was worth more to the Soviet armed forces than any two air armies, more than three motorized divisions. His brain was a weapon, a weapon fo the Soviet power.
4. Clayton Sparrow lay in bed, head propped on a hand. His gaze traveled the length of Anna Wassar’s back, muscled like a swimmers, it flowed to a deep curve just before it melded into the opulent rise of her buttocks. With his forefinger he traced the line of his gaze.
“So you see how important it is to go. There is so much to be learned.”
“Hmmm,” murmured Clay. He hadn’t a clue what she was talking about, and now was no time to ask and risk putting her off.
5. This is Lexie Madison’s story, not mine. I’d love to tell you one without getting into the other, but it doesn’t work that way. I used to think I sewed us together at the edges with my own hands, pulled the stitches tight and I could unpick them anytime I wanted. Now I think it always ran deeper than that and farther, underground; out of sight and way beyond control.