Whyte, Heinlein, Sanderson, MacDonald, and George Nail It …
For example, if you’re writing a mystery, establishing the promise of genre right off lets your reader know exactly what this story is about. It’s about a hero who investigates something important. Or, if it’s a paranormal romance, then it’s about a hero who will not be separated from love, even by death.
Here are some outstanding examples of promise of genre in the opening line. Can you match them with their authors?
- “Mandarb’s hooves beat a familiar rhythm on broken ground as Lan Mandragoran rode toward his death.”
- “I know a place where there is no smog and no parking problem and no population explosion… no Cold War and no H-bombs and no television commercials… no Summit Conferences, no Foreign Aid, no hidden taxes – no income tax.”
- “He found the body on the forty-third day of his walk.”
- “A smear of fresh blood has a metallic smell.”
- “Even now, when more than fifty years have passed, I find it difficult to imagine a more unlikely Paladin.”