James Foster loves cranberry muffins.
“What do you think?”
“It sucks. The aim of the first sentence is to arouse curiosity.”
“Ok, how about this: James Foster would walk a mile for a cranberry muffin. Doesn’t that make you at least a little curious?”
“Well what am I supposed to say? I can’t tell the whole story in the first sentence.”
“Let me give you an example: James Foster used to hate cranberry muffins. See the difference? It immediately raises a question: Why didn’t he like them, and what made him change his mind?”
“I see what you mean. But it wouldn’t be true. He’s always loved them.”
“It was just meant as an example. I don’t know what he likes or dislikes. I’m just trying to make a point. Write whatever you want. I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Wait a minute! Maybe I’m just trying to get into the story the wrong way. What if I started out with this instead:”
I have a wonderful blue ribbon named Nancy.
“You do? No kidding? How long have you had her?”
(And so the story began…)
* * *
Originally posted 2/28/09 as “Impulsive Writing (12)”