Because first impressions are so...how could I put it...open for interpretation I decided to examine it a bit closer. What determines a persons perception of another? Take me for example, as I swallow a large lump down my throat and wipe the sweat off my brow. Upon first introduction I have been known to come across as...arrogant. Yes, this is a revelation my husband finally admitted, and my sister concurred. I was aghast. Why? I am no such thing. I cringe when I am in large crowds, I slink away from conversation, and I rarely look anyone in the eye. Well, all those things can be misconstrued as being...well, arrogant.
First impressions count and of course we all have opinions.
So how do we introduce our main characters and make sure that the first impression made by the reader is one you anticipated.
I've reviewed how others have done it and written them below.
Introduction of Sin in Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon:
"Why do you have such a burr up your ass all of a sudden where Sin's concerned?"
She curled her lip at him. "I hate it when you talk like that."
Which was exactly why he did it. May the gods forbid he do anything she liked. He had enough problems with that already. "You're changing the subject."
She huffed before she answered. "I've always hated him. He was supposed to die. Remember? You intervened."
Here is a character we haven't even met yet and I'm intrigued to know more about him.
Introduction of Ramon Espejo in Hunter's Run by George R.R. Martin, Gardener Dozois, and Daniel Abraham:
He was Ramon Espejo. He was working a prospecting contract out of Nuevo Janeiro. He was...he was...Ramon Espejo.
So is he Ramon Espejo or not? Leaves doubt. Want to read more...I do.
Introduction of Odd Thomas in Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz:
My name is Odd Thomas, though in this age when fame is the altar at which most people worship, I am not sure why you should care who I am or that I exist.
Hmm...smart kid. I may just keep reading.
When you first mention your main character, how did you do it? Are they introduced through the perception of another character or do you jump right in and say "Hi my name is E. and I'm really not arrogant. I just don't know how to carry a conversation past the weather. I'm working on it."