All great novels start well:
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
“Call me Ishmael.”
“It was a pleasure to burn.”
A great introduction sets the pace for a great book.
I’ve thought about how great introductions also hold importance in real life. For instance, my husband and I attended our friend’s funeral this past week. Several of our friends from college, whom we hadn’t seen in years, also came. At the visitation, our friend Tiffany said this to her parents:
“Mom, this is Kelly, the girl who introduced me to Harry Potter. This is her husband, Tyler, the guy who changes all the lyrics to hymns.”
Another good one:
My friend Kristen, introducing us to her friend, “This is my friend Kelly and her husband Tyler, the guy I had a crush on for years until these two started dating. No worries. If we had ever gotten together, it would have ended in violence.”
What is so great about these introductions? They were both succinct and to the point. They both almost perfectly captured the personalities of my friends as well as my husband and me. Plus, we immediately had something to discuss with our new friends, and we were all able to laugh and be at ease.
I like to pretend that my literary life and my real life never coincide. I mostly like literature to offer an escape for real life. Yet, the best writing captures the essence of real life, even if it’s made to help us escape. Use this to your advantage. The next time you introduce your friends, use the introduction as an opportunity to create something great.
Also, in your writing, brush up that first paragraph, too.