I had to pick A. Though, this sort of puzzles me. (Who am I kidding? I’m a masochist so I picked this one BECAUSE it puzzles me. At least in relation to the homework questions.) I’m not sure what the Change is. If it’s the fact that the chase is in a bordello, that I get, but it sounds like the situation the MC has dealt with in one way or another before. So I’ll go with the Change being the bordello, which puts a hilarious spin on the whole “being chased by a bad guy” situation. Are sarcasm and WTF? emotions? I mean that certainly caught my attention and made me curious as to what was happening. Within the story there’s a solid sense of humor and a bit of the thrill that running for your life gets you. So the fear of harm/death on behalf of the MC. Possibly the fear of embarrassment, though that ship has already sailed my friend.
The author of that opener has VOICE, doesn’t she? 🙂 Yeah, VOICE sells (and, as mentioned, can also alienate if that’s not the reader’s favorite flavor). The author is Lisa Shearin, a superb talent. We share the same literary agent (Kristin Nelson) and so, yeah, I know Lisa. We’ve shared more than a few adult libations at book convention bars over the years… along with Stacey Kade.
Here’s something to ponder ALL. Every one of Lisa’s Raine Benares’ books start with the same “style” of opener. To wit, from her back blurbs:
#1 .My name is Raine Benares. I’m a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound…
#2 My name is Raine Benares. Until last week I was a seeker—a finder of things lost and people missing. Now I’m psychic roommates with the Saghred, an ancient stone with cataclysmic powers. Just me, the stone, and all the souls it’s ingested over the centuries. Crowded doesn’t even begin to describe it…
and so on. So when we talk about OPENERS, Lisa nails it for those who love that kind of set-up and tone. She knows what her readers want, and SHE DELIVERS.
Now, here’s the kicker: not all fantasy readers want elves and witches with a modern tone. But those that do, LOVE THIS. Plus, her tone can bring in those readers who don’t like the thee-and-thou feel of traditional fantasy.
It’s Know Thy Genre + Make It Your Own + Deliver To Your Audience.
Lisa crafts extremely well. I often quote from her books because… she crafts extremely well.
Hoookay, and C.
Change: Obviously there aren’t alarms ringing constantly from any ship. That would just be annoying. (And an interesting form of psychological torture to file away for later)
Emotions, fear (of discovery, since we don’t know the consequences of discovery yet), and a resigned sense of “Oh what /now/” (might be me reading into it, but the whole “this is the last thing I need” vibe was pretty strong)
Catching my interest? It was a second-place tie with Wings (someone else said Angel, but I write shapeshifters and spirits so that wasn’t my first thought and it wasn’t explicitly stated) I’m more of a Fantasy over Sci-Fi, but I’m curious to know why this MC is in hiding. The ship seemed to be in a state of disrepair (tools lying around) so I thought it’d be neat to see what was next.
Emotional torture–HAH. Think: stuck doorbell. Yes, has happened. Ugly.
“What now?” + “Last thing I need” is spot-on. And what does that do for the reader? It creates questions, it tickles a potential unknown problem hovering, it shows that the MC isn’t in a position to deal with any form of CHANGE happily, or perhaps even successfully.
As you’re an escapee from my conflicts classes, you know we Pile It On. You know We Are Not Shy about dropping the MC into trouble ASAP.
Side note to all my inmates on site here: Can you see how the conflict classes you’d had with me dovetail into crafting opening scenes? Can you see why I beat on your relentlessly in those courses when you (not you, Frosty) shy away from conflict?
Bonus: Wings caught my interest more from a worldbuilding perspective. I want to know WHAT the MC IS more than why they’re getting their wings cut off.
That’s truly one of my favorite openers. I was given the MS and asked to read it for a blurb. Blew. Me. Away. It’s one of those openers that is ‘stand-alone,’ if you know what I mean. The story opens with that, then shifts dramatically to another character, another setting in the following chapter. I’d say the genre is kind of fantasy-steampunk-mystery. It’s awesome.
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//