Ahhhh. Back in the good old RWW groove. I couldn't pass up the chance to take part in this week's blog hop because we are talking about first lines. Here's the challenge issued to us this week.
Great Beginnings - A great opening line draws the reader in, makes them want to know more and compels them to read further. Share a great opening line, can be a classic or a more recent novel, tell us why you like it and then share the opening line to your newest WIP.
This task was harder than it sounds. Oh sure, I could have googled famous first lines and stolen one there that seemed wonderful. But instead, I went to Amazon and started searching out some of my favourite books and authors to see which of them had a truly great first line.
It's a funny thing, really, because I have a method of shopping in bookstores. Let's say I've collected twelve books and I can only afford to buy two of them. Who makes the cut? Normally the book with the best first paragraph wins for me. But first lines. That's harder. It's amazing how many great books have boring or non-compelling first lines. Most of my absolute favourite books didn't make it to this post because of blasé first lines (sorry Catherine Cookson. You books rock but your first lines do not.)
So here are my top three (okay. There may be better ones but I got tired of searching Amazon, so these ones win!)
Ahhh, Gone with the Wind! You wonderful book you. Margaret Mitchell didn't disappoint. What gets me about this first line is that MM starts the book with the fundamental point of the story: Scarlett gets what she wants because men fall into her trap all to easily. I love it! A+ for hooking me at the start.
Okay. Maybe the power of this first sentence is in what's revealed in the second, but still, it's a great first sentence. Short. Punchy. Makes the reader curious. This is from Jasper Fforde's awesome novel, The Eyre Affair. If you love books, love Jane Eyre, love Withering Heights, love Great Expectations, love fantasy, love Sci-fi, love romance, love reading awesomely imagined books, then get this one. It rocks!
Isn't this a great one? I so desperately wanted to have a Terry Pratchett book make the cut, and right away I went for my very favourite one: Hogfather. And Mr. Pratchett never disappoints me. What a great first line this is. And it's a paragraph too. I know for a fact that I bought Hogfather because of this line. I can still remember standing in the bookstore with a stack of Discworld novels trying to decide which ones got to go home with me that day. Now, this book might have one anyhow because it stars my favourite of all Pratchett's characters (Death) but this is still a great line.
So there you have it. My top three of the day.
Of course the other part of this challenge was to look at my current WIP and share my opening line. Hmmmm. Perhaps I need to work on it a bit more. What do you think?
Now make your way over to my friend and awesome author Xio Axelrod to see what she has to say. And for the record, her new release "The Callum" has a pretty wicked opening line itself. Here it is!