Saturday, December 24, 2011

Writers Club Wednesday: First Lines

Okay, I know it isn't Wednesday anymore. I'm behind schedule. I've been baking and wrapping and harping.

But I still want to tell you about our lesson from this week.

My daughter led a discussion about first lines. She brought several of her favorite books, read the first lines, and then gave us her thoughts on what a first line ought to do.

All great first lines set the tone for the book by their voice. But a first line should also make promises. The promises come in many ways. A first line can promise an intriguing setting. It can deliver immediate tension. It can pose a question. Whatever the first line promises, it has to be something that draws the reader into the book. The most important promise a first line can make is, "I promise you want to read this."

One of my daughter's favorite first lines is from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn:

Ash fell from the sky.

I've always loved: Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

What's your favorite first line?

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