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This Debate Is Digging A Hole In The Ground

| Learning | December 13, 2014

(I’m taking a class on writing fantasy for children and young adults, and we’re doing a lesson on good and bad story openings. After hearing the general rules for an interest catching opener, our instructor shows us a slideshow of various opening from popular books, and we are told, as a class, to rank them based on how interest catching we think they are. We go through a number of books, including thing like Twilight, which came in last, and Artemis Fowl. Ella Enchanted holds the number one spot when the opening to a very classic fantasy story comes up.)

Classmate #1: “It doesn’t look like it has any attention grabbers. I think it should go lower down.”

Classmate #2: “Are you crazy!? That’s The Hobbit! It’s THE fantasy book. It has to come first.”

Classmate #1: “But it does nothing to make me curious. It just tells me that there’s a hobbit in a hobbit hole.”

Classmate #3: “Well you should want to know what a hobbit is.”

Classmate #4: “It’s not as bad as Twilight, but there’s nothing really shocking about it. Maybe it could go under Ella?”

Classmate #5: “No! You can’t put The Hobbit anywhere but the top! It’s too classic.”

Classmate #6: “Well, are we judging the whole book or just the opening? Because The Hobbit might be a better book, but Ella Enchanted has a much better opening.”

Classmate #7: “I think perhaps we might have less sophisticated standards for a good book opening now. The Hobbit is clearly…”

(The debate went on for twenty minutes.)

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