Saturday, July 09, 2011

A Tennis Story (My first novel, based on a true story)

Tonight, as Lavern Robinson and I played our sons Trevor and Josh in tennis, I received the inspiration for my first novel. I couldn't wait to get home and write the beginning. Here, in advance of publication, it is.

As the burnt-red sun sank softly in the west, two fathers and their sons walked off the tennis court.

That's it... so far. I am so taken by this first sentence that I am going to break some rules and review my book so far.

The first sentence is brilliant. It reminds me of the first line in Melville's Moby Dick: "Call me Ishmael." First sentences of fictive works are important. Make a good first impression. My sentence obviously qualifies.

My sentence draws the reader in immediately. For anyone now reading this, you cannot get that sentence out of your mind. Questions arise. Such as: "What are these people doing on a tennis court?" "What is going to happen next?" Because of the intuitive connections to Melville the question inexorably arises, "Is this tennis court on a cruise ship?" "Is one of the men named 'Ishmael'?"

In that first sentence many human emotions are elicted, such as love, hate, fear, hope, sadness, joy, angst, and sensucht.

And remember, my first novel is based on a true story. Wss it triggered by the events on the tennis court this evening? The answer to that is, "Of course. One doesn't have to be a literary critic or even a rocket scientist to see that."

More to come...  maybe...   Trevor, Josh, and Lavern understand...