Thursday, February 22, 2007

Slight Delay and a Little Fun

Apologies for not posting the second part of my two-part look at first sentences. Life got a little in the way today and I didn't have time to devote myself to the project the way I wanted to. I hope to have it done either tomorrow or over the weekend.

Meretta had a point in the comments on yesterday's post, though. It's important that we have good first lines at the beginning of every scene and every new chapter. This keeps the reader turning the pages. And what about the end of a scene or chapter? I'd say it's important to have good lines here, too, for the same reason of keeping the reader turning the pages.

In the interest of fun, I'd love to read some of your first lines, whether from the beginning or end of your novel, scene, or chapter.

Here's some of mine:

From my very first novel, Possession, a Regency historical (a manuscript that will undoubtedly never see a publisher's desk because, let's face it - it's my first novel and riddled with errors).

The Comtesse d’Rouget lived in a perpetual state of cold.


“My dear Lady d’Rouget,” he murmured, allowing his gaze to slowly travel the length of her, “I have nothing but time for you.”

Here's one more:

By the middle of the first act, Nicolas felt as though his senses might explode.

And some from my current novel, Love Thine Enemy, an inspirational WW2 story.

For the first time since George’s death, she felt peace.


By the middle of the afternoon, Bess felt as wound up as a piece of barbed wire.

and one more:

In the age-old practice of men everywhere who are haunted by a woman’s face, Erich immersed himself in his work.

Your turn!


  1. I don't have any first liners but I sure like the ones you posted

  2. Ooo, fun! Here's the first line of my WIP:

    Across the Bridge-to-the-other-side, in the middle of the Bering Sea, Anya Swanson’s eight passenger plane touched down.

    But I should note that I have an eternal debate with myself about whether or not that is the "true beginning" of the novel. ;)

  3. Here's one of mine from a prize-winning short story:

    When Marcie Craig arrived home in the early hours of the morning, the last thing she expected to find was a dead body. Well, not really a body. More a smouldering mass with two skinny legs sticking out.

    Okay, not strictly an opening line. More an opening par.

  4. Hmm...I don't have any of mine handy here at work, but my first completed ms, War Wounds (a post-civil war western historical), starts off with:

    "I don't need a man." Meghan Daniels glared at the squat wagon train master standing in front of her and wished her words held more conviction. She might not want a man, but it seemed Fate intended her to need one.

  5. Oooh - I like the one from your Regency - I want to know why she's cold!

    Here's mine from What the Heart Remembers:
    The cell door creaked as Adrian Brydgewater opened it just enough to slide into the stinking room and secure it behind him.

  6. Love everyone's examples! Keep them coming!

  7. This is great! Robin, I have the *exact* same problem!

    Here's mine. Well, my favorite version. I keep bouncing around trying to figure out where to start, but it'll be in there somewhere. LOL

    "There are moments in your life that you remember, right down to the color of your underwear."

  8. Oh Lord.

    I like the cold contessa too :) Here are some of mine...yikes

    Her footsteps rapped loudly against Bleecker Street’s concrete sidewalk, her swirling black coat creating the illusion of chic sophistication that usually amused her—but not right now. *Blade Hunter*

    Elizabeth Ward eased back the blinds and peered into the quiet street that ran alongside her apartment building. *Her Sanctuary*

    And my wip:
    Maybe life was worth living after all?

    Nice to have to think about these key sentences, especially when editing :)

  9. My upcoming release (how fun is it to say that?!) opens with this:

    What she was doing was wrong. But then, everything was wrong, wasn't it?

  10. “Sir, stop! She’s not allowed visitors.” *Fire Within*

  11. I can't even post my first line from my current wip. It has naughty words in it - I'd be embarrassed. Hee hee hee.

    Those are some great first lines, Melissa.

  12. My novel that sold started out with "She wished him dead." I hope I continued the hook because in the first paragraph, you discovered that the "him" was the heroine's beloved father.

  13. Well, my favorite opening line is kind of shocking, so I waited until everyone else was done sharing before I posted it. It's from my current WIP, Alien After All.

    His father's genitals were missing.

    It drew a few comments at NaNo. :D


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