Sign that I’m still tinkering with the first chapter of my novel

First sentences from a number of random books I’ve enjoyed:

“At school I was careful not to look like I watched everything, but I did.”
— Amanda Davis, Wonder When You’ll Miss Me

“Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father.”
— James Baldwin, Go Tell it on the Mountain

“The day my wife left, she gave me a list of who I was.”
— Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker

“Some real things have happened lately.”
— Joan Didion, The Last Thing He Wanted

“At a flag stop in Louisiana, a big, yellow-haired man named Jules stepped off a day coach at a settlement of twelve houses and a shoebox station.”
— Tim Gautreaux, The Clearing

“It was, gentlemen, after a long absence — seven years to be exact, during which time I was studying in Europe — that I returned to my people.”
— Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North

“It is my contention that everyone is profoundly eccentric.”
— Anita Brookner, Undue Influence

“For reasons that will become obvious, I find it difficult to write about Stewart.”
— John Colapinto, About the Author

“When I was fifteen, I got hepatitis.”
— Bernhard Schlink, The Reader

“What are you wearing?” he asked.
— Nicholson Baker, Vox

“How did I find out?”
— Nadine Gordimer, My Son’s Story

Here’s a prior collection of first sentences.


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