(from Werewolves in Their Youth)
I had known him as a bulldozer, as a samurai, as an android programmed to kill, as Plastic Man and Titanium Man and Matter-Eater Lad, as a Buick Electra, as a Peterbilt truck, and even, for a week, as the Mackinac Bridge, but it was as a werewolf that Timothy Stokes finally went too far.
A good friend and I had a long discussion on the length of that first sentence. Is it too long? Would only, say, three items have been sufficient? Is sufficient enough? I’ve given it some thought and I currently feel that the sentence’s span is appropriate for the purposes of the story. My newspaper instinct tells me, however, that first sentences should be short, punchy teases. This is not a newspaper article, it’s an interesting and memorable story of one school outcast slowly recognizing his kinship with the biggest outcast. Or maybe it’s about a kid one rung up on the social food chain taking solace in the fact that there’s somebody with a lower standing than him. It’s a good one. A long one. But appropriately so.
What? What is this, this Google Books thing? It looks like the whole book is available here for your reading pleasure. I bought it for $10.80 at Barnes & Noble, which is also a good thing.
This is Michael Chabon’s site, and it’s kinda empty.
Hey, have you seen this Hay Relay thing on the Guardian? It’s ten authors writing ten chapters of a story, published over ten days. I’ll write it up when it’s done. It starts here with Beryl Bainbridge. Rose Tremain, Thomas Keneally and Dave Eggers have also submitted chapters so far.