Monday, May 11, 2009

The Great Opening Paragraph

Go ahead and put it down, I dare you!
by Charlie Leck

The opening paragraph is mighty important. Every writer wants to produce good sentences one right after another. The writer wants the reader to regard some sentences so highly that said reader will go back and read them again just because of their sheer beauty. Yet, nothing is more important to the writer than perfectly wonderful first paragraphs – paragraphs that are so good they virtually dare the reader to go ahead and put the piece down! Such was the opening paragraph of Alessandra Stanley’s essay in the New York Times on Sunday. Here’s how she opened her comments in the Critic’s Notebook.
“One reason so many Italians — and quite possibly at least one American ex-president — love Silvio Berlusconi lies in his response to his wife, Veronica Lario, after she complained publicly about his womanizing and demanded a divorce. ‘Veronica will have to publicly apologize to me,’ Mr. Berlusconi, the 72-year-old Italian prime minister, said grandly. ‘And I don’t know if that will be enough.’”
Well, there you are! I dare you not to read the rest of this wonderful piece. [click here to read it]

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