Starting today, I'm going to fill you in on important parts of the novel. I'll start with what starts it all and talk about the first sentence!
The day I began writing this, I read a post by author Maggie Stiefvater on the subject, and I thought I'd write my own post. (Speaking of dates, a quick apology for me posting this a bit early. Tomorrow I'm going on an English Department trip, and I don't know when/if I'll have le Internet with me.)
Honestly, the whole first line issue in novels ticks me off. Not the first line so much as the "first page" or "first chapter" or even "first three chapters." I guess my intros can be slow. I'm a fan of prologues, which is also not "in" at the moment. I'll admit it's a problem. But it makes me mad that literary agents and publishers judge based off of just the first section of your work.
I have been informed that this is because readers often look through the first pages, and if you don't hook them, they don't buy the book. I struggle to believe this, but maybe it's because I'm such a voracious reader. I decide what to read based on the blurb; I dive in if I like the idea. I'll admit a particularly boring start can jolt me out (I had this problem with Lord of the Rings. Also, Inkheart.), but in general, the first part of the book doesn't decide overall enjoyment for me.
However, it is true, and always will be, that the first line can make the book. They're particularly amusing to peruse. You get a sense of the story from a really good first line, and hopefully, it will have a strong effect on you too. So today I'm going to list some of my favorite first lines and also give you the first lines of my WIPs (no guarantees on their quality).
Best First Lines of Other Books
All children, except one, grow up.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news.
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, from the Alex Rider series
You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain't no matter.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car.
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan, from the Percy Jackson series
Sometimes it seems like all I ever do is lie.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, from the Harry Potter series
It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
It was a pleasure to burn.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, from A Series of Unfortunate Events
There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, from The Chronicles of Narnia
Current First Lines of My Books
A single snowflake fell from the sun-kissed sky, foreboding the future that Haley Ravét knew was coming faster than anyone could stop it.
If you saw me on the street, you’d think I was normal.
They’ve existed for ages unfathomed.
I don't know exactly the date of my birth, only that it was sometime during the summer.
Eliada lay on her cot in the bare cell, the remnants of tears crusting her light eyes.
Sage O’Riley skimmed her schedule for Centralia High School as she walked out to her family’s Jeep, and instantly appreciated being a sophomore.
Hunter Cole, clinging to the hand of the only girl he had ever loved, dove outside just as the helicopter reached the hospital roof.
He stood in silence.
In every way, it had been an ordinary evening, hardly portending the tragedy at hand.
“Mom!” I bellowed, sticking my head out my bedroom door, which was covered in posters of my favorite music group, Evanescence.
On the morning of my sixteenth birthday, I wake up my younger brother Max, help him dress, give him breakfast, and get him on the bus to school.
My lines don't have the same strength as the professional ones, which makes sense. Most my novels still need a whole lot of editing before I end up sending them out... and then even more editing once I get someone to take them on.
What you can learn from this, though, is to give your first line some punch! It'll carry you forward and give you an advantage in the industry. Not to mention, it's just cool. Be awesome like cool published writers and hook them readers in.
Why I Hate James Pat...
The Lesser Evil: Femi...
PTSD and The Hunge...
Guest Post: 5 Fandom...
My Mayo Clinic Experi...
My 25 Most Favorite S...