Monday, April 8, 2013

Great Lines

Rick Daley (of My Daley Rant) posted the Letter C last week on his A-Z Challenge and it was about Eric Clapton. (For those of you too young to know who Eric Clapton is, he is one of the best guitarists in the world.)

Anyway, for the rest of that day after I read his post, I couldn't help hear the song Bell Bottom Blues in my head. (One of my most favorite songs. Recorded in 1971 - shows you how old I am.) There is a line in that song --

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back

That everytime I hear it, I think, "That is the best line EVAH!" Sends goosebumps up my spine. Listen to him sing it. Sheer heartbreak. Anguish. All that fun stuff a romance writer loves.

This in turn, brought me to thinking about great lines in books. Every so often, I'll run across one that just blows me away. And they may not seem like anything to you (it's all very subjective) but each of these lines invokes something in me that makes me want to remember it.

There is something about trains, drinking, and being an Indian with nothing to lose.
-- Sherman Alexie

What reason weaves, by passion is undone.
--Alexander Pope

Family ain't what you inherit, girl, it's what you make with those you love who love you back.
--Olivia Goldsmith

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly: what is essential is invisible to the eye.
--Antoine Saint-Exupery

But Cash had been thinking how sad it was there was not even a plant on the windowsill in here. Not one green thing that can sit in the sun and be quiet.
--Barbara Kingsolver

That was enough for the both of us because those kisses came from the same place where pain and hunger live.
-- Robert Olmstead

One cannot live rightly when one lives without love.
-- Anne Gallagher (The Lady's Fate)

As you can see, I posted my own "great line" up there as well, because I feel it deserved a mention. Of everything I've ever written, that's the only line I ever remember faithfully.

How about you? When you pen your stories do you ever sit back and say, "Hoo-doggie, that was a GREAT line!" If so, what is it?

For your listening pleasure Derek and the Dominoes Bell Bottom Blues

Anne Gallagher (c) 2013


Em-Musing said...

Oh, yeah I remember the song. Never listened to the lyrics though, but I do appreciate great lines. Love yours.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I love the first line of the Clapton two-liner. It is exhilarating when you write a good line, and funny how we instantly know it. And then I wonder, why can't the whole novel be as good as that one line?? They're like diamonds in the haystack. When it's cloudy you can't find them.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I LOVE your line, Anne!

SA Larsenッ said...

Sherman's quote gave me a chuckle. LOL Thanks for sharing these, especially yours!

Anne Gallagher said...

Em -- Thanks. It's not that it's a "great line" (mine) but I think it's a keeper. And it's very true, I think. Which is why I gave it to the Prince Regent. He was so distraught when Parliament made him give up his marriage to Maria.

Yvonne -- That first line of Clapton's is definitely poignant. And yes, once you find a great line you do tend to think that. But then, if the whole book were made up of great lines, then you would never read anything ever again. lol

Anne Gallagher said...

Jennifer -- Thanks.

Sherrie -- Sherman Alexie is a master at his craft. Love him.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great lines. I especially like Alexander Pope's. And yours :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Sometimes when I edit my work, I come across a line and think - Wow, I wrote that? Wish I could remember what line that was, though...

But one line that has stuck with me was written by Darynda Jones (her 3rd or 4th Charley Davidson book): "Never trust a man with a penis." That line STILL cracks me up!

Jill Kemerer said...

I love Eric Clapton's music. I had a "Best of" cassette (yes, cassette!!) that I wore out!

My writing always cracks me up, so I'm sure I'll be loving it in my old age!

Bish Denham said...

Those are some great lines. As for Bell Bottom Blues... one of the best songs ever, written when he was in tortuous love with his best friend's wife. That best friend being George Harrison.

February Grace said...

I don't know about 'best' but my favorite thing I have ever written, bar none, is this: written for a haunted, time-traveling character called Keiran O'Sullivan (he wrote this in his journal in the story)

"Some are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for their duty.

For those like me, that ultimate sacrifice is not the giving of the lives that we have.

It's the giving up on the lives that we know we might have, if we could but stretch our arms wide enough to outreach the grasp of the Fates, just once."


Linda G. said...

Great lines, yours included. :)

Don't know that I'd call it great, but one of my favorite lines that I've written it in my upcoming Book 2 (Quick Fix): "What I lack in impulse control I make up for in remorse."

Sarah Ahiers said...

I keep a journal of great lines from books i've read.

For my current WIP, I have two that stand out to me:

"He stared at me then gave me a small smile before he pushed me away, his hands fluttering against mine like moths against a lamp glass"


"That her blood across my face would be like the spray of the sea to me, warm and wet and nothing more."

Liza said...

My lines aren't as "global," if you will...but I like 'em.

"Mother, whatever crazy idea you have about Dad, you need to let it go. Melanie is my daughter, not his.”

And, "If there is one thing I have learned over this God awful summer, it’s that secrets aren’t made for families."

Al said...

A great line.

Nothing leaps to mind from my own work. I'll have to think about it.

Al said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stina Lindenblatt said...

That's a great line, Anne.

The answer is yes, but I can't remember them. :P