Regarding my last post about sentence-level reversals, Patricia comments:
I wonder how much this is used in commercial contemporary fiction. All of the examples are classic. I'm wracking my brains to think of a current example.
Patricia, I suspect what's throwing you is that the examples I cited used reversals to set out thematic elements. In commercial fiction (which tends to rely less on theme), this kind of sentence is more likely to be used in other ways, usually but not always to set scenes or describe characters. Also, in contemporary writing, we tend to use reversals as accents within a sentence rather than as the meat of the sentence -- but this is not universal. It's just a tendency.
In the previous post, I used those examples because the reversals are so obvious that it makes the concept very clear. Sometimes reversals are a little less blatant, though.
Just using the books within reach of my desk, these are some sentences I find in openings:
They were gentleman-magicians, which is to say they had never harmed anyone by magic -- nor ever done any one the slightest good.
~ third sentence, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (doing harm ---> doing good, used to introduce characters)
[Imagine a] place of white sparkling mountains and black forests and one high, ancient castle.
~ second sentence, The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe (white ---> black, used to set the scene)
The cabin was silent except for the chattering of a squirrel on the roof.
~ second paragraph, Natural Selection by Liz Wolfe (silent --->chattering, used to set the scene)
Trouble was, the bride wasn't Jeannette Rose Brantford. The bride was Jeannette's identical twin sister, Janette Violet Brantford....
~ sixth and seventh sentences, The Husband Trap by Tracy Anne Warren (Rose--->Violet, used to set the premise and describe the characters) (Worth noting: twins switching places is a reversal used as a plot element.)
Example one is genfic. Two is paranormal romance. Three is a mystery. Four is historical romance. The oldest of these titles has a 2004 copyright date.
We're going to explore this idea a bit further, but I want to make sure first that everyone is on the same page. (Haha, punny -- that page would be the first, yes?) (Ah, nothing like wordgeek humor on a Friday afternoon.) (I'll shut up now.)