First Lines have long been a passion of mine (The Mom). Last night as I began a new book --one that The Dad has been urging me to read for ages (see: What are You Reading RIGHT NOW! for more) I was sleepy, very sleepy --but the opening line hooked me. And I stayed up way too late, enjoying my new book.
Some first lines are so good, so catchy, so memorable that we never forget them, they even become a points of reference on Literature's permanent landscape. Think about it --we bet one comes to mind.
Give your self a quick test --do you recognize these opening lines? Click on comments to check your answers.
- “This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.”
- “The play – for Which Briony had designed the posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crêpe paper – was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.”
- “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."
- "A few months after my twenty-first birthday, a stranger called to give me the news."
- “Not every 13-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty.”
- “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
- "At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin."
One LONG opening line!
- "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
- "'Where's Papa going with that axe?' said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast."
- "That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me."
- "Tamisin Warner saw real goblins the Halloween she was eleven."
- "It was a dark and stormy night."
- "This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse."
Your challenge this week: give us a good opening line.
One from memory, search out opening lines on the internet (there are lots of great lists), go to your bookshelf and pull a favorite.
Whichever way you choose, What's Your Opening Line? And can you guess the first line others have added?