March 22, 2012

Are Dreamy Openers Really so Cliche?

Last night my eldest son picked a few books to read a chapter from before bed. We read together. I was blown away to find that every single one started in a dream or sleep state.

"Sophie couldn't sleep." - The BFG, Roald Dahl

"Qui-Gon Jinn woke with a start." - Star Wars, The Dark Rival

"It was sometime before dawn when Ruthie Stewart opened her eyes." - Stealing Magic, Marianne Malone, c. 2011

Here's a classic favorite as well:
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic vermin.” — Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

And an interesting comment to sum it up:
"In my opinion, EVERYONE thinks EVERYTHING is too cliche these days,
OF course everything is cliche, everything has already been done!" - Yahoo Answers Comment

Overall, I believe good writing is good writing. I cannot say unequivocally that you should not start a novel in a sleep state, although I seem to have read that many times recently.

What's more curious to me is the tendency to write this type of opener. It's almost like birth for stories. Sometimes you need to start from birth, when a novel first comes to consciousness, but other times you can skip ahead -- what's important is to start where the story starts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...