the Tragedy of Macbeth: Act four scene three
When I started Birthright over a year ago, I had another quote from the play to begin my story. It was the start of Banquo's soliloquy in Act three: Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis - all at the weird women promised. And, I fear, thou didst play most foully for it.'
Back then, though I had known the key elements of the story, I thought the idea of revenge for one of the characters was best summed up in that quote.
Now that the book is mostly complete, I see that the quote no longer fits. Instead, Malcolm's words to the grieving Macduff are much more apt.
'Blunt not the heart!' What a fantastic reverse image. For all of the people whose stories I am telling, this is critical advice.
I suppose like choosing the best fit title, for me getting the opening phrase just so is as important. As a reader, I take my time 'opening' a book - I check out the imprint page; I ponder over the dedication; I read the author's note and/or acknowledgments (if there are any); I wonder with anticipation as the selected lines before the book begins proper.
I hope my readers do the same.