At the beginning of a written work stands the OPENING SENTENCE. The opening line is part or all of the opening sentence that may start the lead paragraph . For older texts the Latin term "incipit " (it begins) is in use for the very first words of the opening sentence.
As in speech, a personal document such as a letter normally starts with a salutation ; this, however, tends not to be the case in documents , articles , essays , poetry , lyrics , and general works of fiction and nonfiction . In nonfiction, the opening sentence generally points the reader to the subject under discussion directly in a matter-of-fact style. In journalism, the opening line typically sets out the scope of the article.
In fiction, authors have much liberty in the way they can cast the
beginning. Techniques to hold the reader's attention include keeping
the opening sentence to the point, showing attitude, shocking, and
being controversial. One of the most famous opening lines, "It was
the best of times, it was the worst of times ...", starts a sentence
of 118 words that draws the reader in by its contradiction; the first
sentence of Yes even contains 477 words. "Call me Ishmael " is an
example of a short opening sentence. Formulaic openings are generally
eschewed, but expected in certain genres, such as fairy tales
Once upon a time
Inspired by the opening, "
It was a dark and stormy night ...", the
annual tongue-in-cheek Bulwer-Lytton
The opening sentence may sometimes be also used as the title for the work, e.g. Everything I Possess I Carry With Me ; papal encyclicals and bulls are titled according to their incipits.
* ^ David Venter. "The
Opening sentence - The Genesis of the
Novel". Retrieved November 28, 2009.
* ^ Alan Rinzler. "Ask the Editor: The Power of the Opening
Sentence - 6 Tips". Retrieved November 28, 2009.