Sunday, June 26, 2011

Which opening scene for SCOTTISH PRISONER?

Diana Gabaldon has just posted a new blog entry titled "Jamie, or John?" in which she asks for readers' opinions on whether THE SCOTTISH PRISONER should start with Jamie's first scene, or John's.
As it stands, I’m opening the book with Jamie’s point of view—but I _could_ open with Lord John’s first chapter instead, and do Jamie’s second.  I did it this way because I’d like people to realize right away that this is Jamie’s book, as much as Lord John’s—but it _is_ a Rather Unusual {cough} way to open a book.

If you haven't seen the excerpts in question, click on the link above to see Diana's blog post, then scroll down past all the information about her public appearances, and you'll see both opening scenes.  Which one do you think should go first, John's or Jamie's?

You can post a comment on Diana's blog, if you want to tell her what you think.  There's also a thread on Compuserve here.

I thought we could also have a discussion here about which opening scene people prefer, and why.  If you are an excerpt-avoider, you might want to stop reading now.

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My vote is for Jamie's scene. <g>  (If that first line doesn't grab readers' attention right away, I don't know what would.)  But I can also imagine that starting off with Jamie's scene might scare off some potential readers, who might be taken aback by seeing the word "c*ck" right at the beginning of the book like that. <g>

What about the rest of you?  Which opening do you prefer, and why?

5 comments:

Cari said...

I voted for the LJG chapter first, just because this is "A Lord John Novel" (I know, I know, it's 50% LJG and 50% Jamie. Still...) Though the Jamie chapter certainly does grab your attention right away! But, like I posted on DG's website, I'll take it either way. Her good judgement hasn't let me down yet!

BTW, if anyone is shocked by the word c*ck at this stage of the game, they haven't been paying attention!

Marilyn said...

My vote is for Jamie's opening scene. It took several paragraphs for me to actually get into Lord John's narrative. Either way, I'll be reading the book, but I do think Jamie's opening lines are more attention getting, shall we say...

Shannon said...

I shared this on Diana's blog but wanted to share it here as well, since it was here I read my opinion could be shared!

I choose Jamie.

I’ve not yet read the LJG series…I hope to, but Jamie and Claire come first for me. I would read The Scottish Prisoner (A LJG novel) most likely before even reading the first LJG novels, if only to have a bit more of Jamie’s point of view.

I would assume that there are others who have read the Outlander series who may not have picked up the LJG novels yet either. Choosing Jamie to begin this story would, in my opinion, garner their interest even more so than if it started off strictly as another LJG novel.

And, as I stated the name of the book already, why not begin ‘The Scottish Prisoner’ _with_ the Scottish Prisoner himself?

Also, as someone who’s not familiar with the previous LJG novels, I did not fully comprehend what LJG’s chapter was about. Jamie beginning the tale at least tells me where he is, and at what point in the Outlander novel's time-line _this_ book is to take place.
Diana is so good at making each book come off as stand alone stories. I did not feel that this one could, if started with LJG’s point of view, (though I know as the story would continue, she would make it come to sense).

Finally, for me, as I stated above, it’s all about Jamie and Claire for me. With all the books, and with any future books I shall ever read, I will always choose Jamie! :)

Leslie said...

I pick Jamie.

For some reason, I don't really like Lord John. I've always pictured him rather slimy, even though he's not described that way. I wasn't even interested in reading the Lord John Series until I heard about 'The Scottish Prisoner' being in the works. I've yet to start them, but I think I should before 'Scotish Prisoner' comes out to get up to speed on Lord John's history.

Alison K said...

I pick Jamie on no intellectual basis whatsoever - I just can't get enough of him ;)