Thursday, March 22, 2012

That One Perfect Line!

We all have our favorite lines -- ones that encapsulates the entire theme of the book into one fantastically written sentence.  If you are like me, then you find them rattling around in your head for weeks, months, even years after you've read the book.

“Because this is what happens when you try to run from the past. It just doesn’t catch up, it overtakes … blotting out the future.” ~Sarah Dressen, JUST LISTEN


“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”  ~Cormac McCarthy, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES


"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."  ~George Orwell, 1984


“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”   ~John Green, LOOKING FOR ALASKA

It's easy to point to these out in other people's work.  As writers we appreciate, even savor that truly awe-inspiring sentence and find ourselves dumbfounded by the profound depth they convey. What I challenge you to do is look at your own work and find that one sentence that brings your character, your tone, your entire manuscript to life.  I guarantee it's in there, that awe-inspiring sentence that has you saying "Shit . .  I wrote that?"  Then share it here for the rest of us to marvel over!  And as encouragement, I wil throw myself out there with some of my own lines.

 "The darkness would've scared me years ago, but not anymore.  If you couldn't see it, then you didn't know it was there to be afraid of."  ~SILO

"I knew that look in his eyes, knew it had nothing to do with pity or even anger.  It was haunted hope -- that shaky belief that I'd be alright when every experience he'd ever had screamed otherwise." ~ INSIDE OUT 

 "It took me a few minutes, but I finally grasped what this tiny dark room actually was – one fucked up way of sending a naughty child into the corner, complete with locks and sensory deprivation." ~LEAVING EDEN






20 comments:

  1. Ha! Yup, I got lines for you:

    Three days.
    Three of us went in.
    Three of us came out.
    None of us even a shadow of who we once were.

    -LEAVING EDEN, by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie :)

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    1. Ahh yes, that is one great cryptic series of lines we wrote there!

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  2. Hi, Trish! YEAH for EDEN (I am honored to be one of your readers)!!!

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    1. Thanks. I hope one day that I can return the favor. You input has been invaluable!

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  3. Those samples are like good friends I haven't seen in a long time!

    One sentence from my super secret WIP, ”A weevil of apprehension wriggled its way into my bliss.”

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    1. Super Secret WIP you say, Now you got me curious. Off to shoot you an email :)

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  4. Hi Trisha, I'll play along because I love games. BTW, that Three, Three, Three piece Lindsay mentioned above is quite intriguing. :)

    I hadn't really given the following lines much thought until a friend called me after reading the manuscript and said they moved her. Here goes:

    In Sadie Belle's eyes, Caleb was worse off than Joshua. She felt that it was far worse for a child to have thought he had his mother's love, then be abandoned, than to have never known what her love felt like at all.
    -WHEN LAMBS CRY, by Linda Jackson

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    1. Great line!! Thanks for playing along.

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  5. I absolutely love all the quotes! I'll have to hunt for one from one of mine tonight to share.

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    1. I can think of several amazing sentences you wrote :) I am particularly fond of one that involved the term "bar wench."

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  6. There are so many lines I love, but they all seem to be evading me at the moment. I loved Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.

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    1. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors as well. It was hard to narrow down her list of great lines to find just one.

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  7. Great post, Trisha! :) Hmm... I don't have anything awe-inspiring up my sleeve, but I'll play along:

    "My hometown is a place I only revisit in nightmares, and even then it's covered in flames." (Untitled WIP)

    P.S. So excited about your new book!

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    1. Holy F@*K. I so want to read that book. C'mon, Carrie you got to let me.

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  8. I can't think of one off the top off my head so can I just get excited all over again about the lines for Leaving Eden? That is the only thing I've heard of about this book, but I would buy it for that hook.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Glad you like the teaser

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  9. Ooo, I like all of those lines! Some of my favorite lines are from the Anne of Green Gables series. L.M. Montgomery created one of the most insightful and imaginative individuals in literature!

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    1. Totally agree. L.M. Montgomery is amazing. My favorite line of his is form THE ROADS TO YESTERDAY “You may tire of reality, but you never tire of dreams."

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  10. Gosh, what great lines. I'm impressed.

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