Writers who hold you spell-bound, entranced, unable to look away from the words tumbling one after another, spilling you into enchanted worlds.
The 1st time I read this 1st line from 'The Mists of Avalon' by Marion Zimmer Bradley my heart stopped in my chest: "In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, priestess, wise-woman, queen."
And from one of my favourite trilogies of all time 'Wake Watch Wonder' by Robert J. Sawyer, about the sentient awakening of the global internet consciousness, this ...
"Not darkness, for that implies an understanding of light.
Not silence, for that suggests a familiarity with sound.
Not loneliness, for that requires knowledge of others.
But still, faintly, so tenuous that if it were any less it wouldn't exist at all: awareness."
Or the opening cadence of 'StarMaker' by Olaf Stapledon whispering of spectacular adventures into the unknown obscurity of the universe ...
"One night when I had tasted bitterness I went out on to the hill. Dark heather checked my feet. Below marched the suburban street lamps. Windows, their curtains drawn, were shut eyes inwardly watching the lives of dreams. Beyond the sea's level darkness, a lighthouse pulsed. Overhead, obscurity."
Ohhhh the sublime, captivating, enchanting entry into a story. These opening lines, for me, are examples of word wizardry at its finest.
[ Word Wizard: A writer who can enchant you into a story by alchemising their words with stirring, breath-taking precision, taking you deep into new worlds of wonder, punctuated by magic of the highest order. ]
I have always been mesmerized by first lines, revelling in a desire to be captivated into adventures into spectacular new worlds. In fact I admit to often reading only the 1st line or two to see if I am going to follow through with a whole book's worth of reading. Why? Because opening lines can give you a good indication of whether you're dealing with a word wizard or not.
These are writers who know how to take you to places you didn't know you could go. Writers who can hold you spell-bound, entranced, unable to look away from the words tumbling one after another, spilling you into enchanted worlds. It is for this, for the spectacularness of their inspiration, that I write. It is in honour of them that I studied genius and learned the art of flow. It is this art of word wizardry that I dedicate the aspiration of my writing to.
I hope that I began to enter their magical realms when I wrote the opening preface to my fantasy novel 'They Call Me Avalon' ...
"I have been asleep so long that even in my dreams the memory of the hall, where I had been summoned and sent forth, was drifting into obscure nothingness. It used to be that every few centuries an adept would come along and offer me her body and being to wreak wondrousness upon the planet ... and then the memories of my sending would surge forth. But it has been a long time since the last one came and the memories are almost gone."
For the art of word wizardry seems to require a surrender of self, a bowing down to the masterful artistry of something grander than one's self and the thinking mind. It requires that your fingers tumble words onto the screen without knowing what it is you are about to write. It insists you fall deeply wondrously in love with your story before it even begins. That you be captivated by what you know not of yet, as your words become golden keys to open portals into new understanding of who we are and what we can become. That you become a master of magical delight, using words to synchronise the music of the universe into utterances too bold to dare.
I will not dare to say do this or do that to get yourself there because I'm sure that we may all have different pathways into the artistry of wizardly writing. What I can say though is that saying YES to it is a beginning ... and with curiosity for adventure into unknown lands, we go boldly forth, taking the reading world with us as we go. Word after word after wondrous word, we weave the magic that is ours to weave. Writers all, enchanting the world.