Writing heroes #1

G.K Chesterton knew a thing or two about the great opening line.  How about this, from “The Napoleon of Notting Hill.”

The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.

In fact the whole first paragraph is a gem:

The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.  And one of the games to which it is most attached is called, ‘Keep tomorrow dark,’ and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) ‘Cheat the Prophet’.  The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation.  The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely.  Then they go and do something else.  That is all.  For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.

Oh Chesterton, you are barking mad, witty, beautifully phrased and very very clever all at the same time.  It’s been a while since I read “The Napoleon of Notting Hill” and I’m rediscovering it as if it was the first time.  It’s wonderful!

On my own writing news, I have some characters and the idea of a first chapter for Dragon of the Fen, which is progress, but not as much as I had hoped for.  Hidden Conflict, however, is coming on apace and may even be released early.  But to balance that out, I still haven’t had my edits on The Mysterious, which is supposed to be due out in time for Halloween, and I’m not sure how it can be, now.

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