Dr Niamh's Plum Tree Creative Community

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Opening Lines: Deborah Lightfoot.

I thought it might be great to feature the opening lines of some novelist friends of mine. After all, if the opening lines don’t grab you, you probably won’t read on. How about the opening lines of Deborah Lightfoot’s novel, The warlock? It grabs me!

waterspell

“Waterspell Book 1: The Warlock” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00686UIFW

“Carin felt the hoofbeats before she heard them—a barely noticeable tremor underfoot, hardly enough to suggest the approach of a rider but enough to stop her mid-stride.

She turned and studied the leafless trees. Nothing moved. No breeze rattled the branches, no acorn fell to earth, no dead limb snapped. Nothing relieved the woodland’s emptiness.

But she was no longer alone under these oaks. A season on her own had taught her what solitude felt like, and it didn’t feel like this.”

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

14 comments on “Opening Lines: Deborah Lightfoot.

  1. Deborah J. Lightfoot
    December 14, 2013

    Thank you, Niamh. I am honored to be excerpted on your wonderful site.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      December 14, 2013

      Well! Your opening lines are beautifully balanced and certainly intriguing and atmospheric!

      Like

      • Deborah J. Lightfoot
        December 14, 2013

        Thank you, Niamh and Darlene! A literary agent who critiqued my work said:

        “I was very impressed with the tautness of your writing — your avoidance of cliches, your fresh similes, your strong verb choices. You also seem to have an innate sense of rhythm, as well as a solid sense of when to employ intentional repetition and when to avoid it. And I love the way you drew readers immediately into the story with your opening line. It definitely hooked me and made me want to keep reading.”

        Of course, I fell in love with that agent then and there! LOL

        But she went off to raise a family and I never heard from her again.

        All told, I spent 16 years writing the Waterspell trilogy, producing the best work of which I am capable. Now that the books are published, I find that many kinds of readers enjoy them … once I’ve gotten the reader’s attention. Getting NOTICED is the hard part, I’m discovering!

        Which is why I am so grateful to Niamh and On the Plum Tree for featuring my Opening Lines today. You’re the best. 🙂

        Like

      • ontheplumtree
        December 15, 2013

        I know exactly what you mean, Deborah. I spent 10 years writing my first book: The Coming of the Feminine Christ. It is a hard road: trying to have our work ~ the fruit of heart and soul, noticed.

        Like

  2. Darlene
    December 14, 2013

    Wow! Those are great opening words Deborah. Thanks for sharing Niamh.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      December 14, 2013

      I thought it might be a good way to feature authors, Darlene.

      Like

  3. Deborah J. Lightfoot
    December 15, 2013

    Reblogged this on The Wisewoman and commented:
    I’m reblogging “Opening Lines” from On The Plum Tree with my thanks to Niamh Clune for featuring the first lines of Waterspell Book 1. It’s an honor to be excerpted on her outstanding book blog.

    Like

  4. thiskidreviewsbooks
    December 15, 2013

    Whoa. I’m drawn in! 🙂

    Like

  5. Daniel Vimont
    December 16, 2013

    You pretty much had me with the first eight words; the next few sentences just sealed the deal. Pardon me while I go and download the full book onto my Kindle!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      December 16, 2013

      Deborah will be delighted!

      Like

    • Deborah J. Lightfoot
      December 22, 2013

      Thank you, Daniel! I am so pleased you’re pleased. 🙂 Now is a good time to pick up the series. All three books are on sale. Waterspell Books 1, 2, and 3 are the beginning, middle, and end of a continuous story, so I like readers to know they shouldn’t expect standalone volumes. Book 1 ends on a cliffhanger. I couldn’t help it. That’s the way the story demanded to be told. 🙂

      Like

      • Daniel Vimont
        December 22, 2013

        Thanks for the advice about getting your books while they’re on sale! I’m about half-way through Book 1, and it’s wonderful!!

        And it took me less than a minute to get these —
        Book 2: The Wysard — http://amzn.to/19l7TIj
        Book 3: The Wisewoman — http://amzn.to/J7OI8K

        Like

  6. Deborah J. Lightfoot
    December 24, 2013

    Thanks so much, Daniel. Your words make me happy and deeply grateful. I put everything I had as a writer and an editor into the trilogy — it’s a story from my heart and soul. To connect with a reader who “gets it” is just the most wonderful thing there is. You might be surprised (I have been) by how the subtleties have sped right past some readers — whoosh! All writers walk a tightrope between giving too much information and too little — between being too obvious and too subtle. Based on feedback from my highly skilled critique group, I thought I had successfully walked the rope. However, a minority of readers (small but vocal) have roundly chastised me for being too subtle — they just didn’t pick up on the body language and other nonverbal clues that set up the subplot(s). Not everything is spelled out in so many words. Some things must be read between the lines. That’s the kind of story I like to read, and I wrote the story I wanted to read. Thank you for reading it, too! 🙂

    Like

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This entry was posted on December 14, 2013 by in Guest Authors, Opening Lines and tagged , , , , , , .
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