One of the best ways to train your eye to recognize this is to read good books and copy the first couple paragraphs in your writer's journal. The act of actually writing the words you're reading helps you see them. It trains your eye and ear for cadence and balance. And if you read 100 books, you can start synthesizing some of the tricks that all authors use to get you into the story
(Ok you’re what, surprised? That I’m starting with Harry Potter? Do you know me at all? )
Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much (Edit: slightly embarrassed to say I typed that not from my notebook but entirely from memory – yeah the less said there the better) they were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.
I love it! You just know something weird and mysterious is coming their way…
Mr Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache. Mrs Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spend so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours. The Dursleys had a small son called
Dudleyand in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.
The Dursley’s had everything the wanted, but they also had a secret, and it was there greatest fear that somebody would discover it. They didn’t think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.
Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening Hall…
One of the books that came to mind when I thought of this task was Shade’s Children by Garth Nix. I think I’ve only read it the once, and several years ago now, but it’s one that stuck in my mind.
How’s that for an opening! I mean aside from the morbid curiosity as to what she did with the razor blade, we’re also slapped in the face with the fact that a nineteen year old is the oldest living human?!?!?! More, more, must read more…
There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately.The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course she didThis is the day of the reaping.