You will never guess what will hook a reader in or have them bored and switching off within seconds? The first line of a story. It is vitally important and so I have been reading first lines in books.
Right now I am going through the book “Writing Life Stories” by Bill Roorbach – the last exercise in the first chapter talks about the importance of first lines.
I have to go off to the library, pick up a load of books and read their first line. It made me realise that writing the first line – I need to get it right…
Most of my books at home at non-fiction, self improvement, be your best self type books so they don’t fall into memoirs of fiction books so this isn’t something I can do at home.
I want to read 100 first lines and see how that changes my own first lines.
Here are a few great first line-ers that I like:
“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.”
– Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood
“My father drank”
– Under the influencer – a personal essay by Scott Russell Sanders
“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”
– Gone with the wind, Margaret Mitchell
“The first time I read the ad, I choked and cursed and spat and threw the paper to the floor.”
Ishmael: An adventure of the mind and spirit, Daniel Quinn
“The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand.”
– The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells
“Patsy sat by herself at the beginning of the evening, eating a melted chocolate bar.”
– Moving On, by Larry McMurtry
http://blogaboutwriting.wordpress.comTue, 21 May 2013 10:53:16 GMT
Last week in my class we talked about writing a gripping first line – ‘a hook’. Whether you’re writing a short story or a novel, the first line is pretty important. On that recent BBC Radio 4 programme, ‘Suspended Sentence’ …
If, like me, you are looking to get into writing flash fiction this blog post made for interesting reading…
http://www.greatwriterssteal.comSat, 01 Jun 2013 19:30:58 GMT
Title of Work and its Form: “The Children’s Book Writer,” flash fiction. Author: Jacob Wren (on Twitter @EverySongIveEve) Date of Work: 2013. Where the Work Can Be Found: The story was first published by NANO Fiction, …
I think it is safe to say that writing the first line is a very important element of any book and something I want to ensure I get right from the beginning.
The best way for me to get anything right is to keep practising so I will come up with some first lines of my own and add them to the blog. It will be a great way to document how my writing changes over the coming months and years.