Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Great first lines

First lines are tough. When I first starting writing, authors could take a leisurely approach -- setting the stage, creating an ambiance, describing a scene -- before getting into the action. But today, in a world where attention spans seem to be getting shorter by the moment, we no longer have the luxury of a few thousand words to draw the reader into the story. A few pages?-- maybe. But the opening lines have become ever more crucial.

Here's one of my favorite opening lines. I like it because I'm pretty sure -- in just two sentences -- that the heroine has a sense of humor, that she's snarky and not full of herself, and that I'm going to like her.

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.

– Deanna Rayburn, Silent in the Grave

What's your favorite first line, from a book you've read or one you've written?

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