With examples from authors as diverse as Charles Dickens and David Morrell, we see how they structured their opening lines to make us want to read on.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the craft of novel writing and just how important a good opening is in making that first impression, not only in enticing your readers, but also in setting the premise of the story to come.
Some of my favorite first few sentences are from the novel BACKSEAT SAINTS by Joshilyn Jackson, the story of a young woman who’s finding her way back to herself.
“It was an airport gypsy who told me that I had to kill my husband. She may have been the first to say the words out loud, but she was only giving voice to a thing I’d been trying not to know for a long, long time.”
I read on, curious to find out whom the protagonist was and if she was really going to do the deed, why. I won’t tell you here, but I think you’d find it fun to read the book.
Here are a few sentences from a novel I’m working on, OUT OF TIME. It features
Nick Donahue, the protagonist from the novella, NICK OF TIME.
“Just ask Marina.
If you want to know how I wound tethered like a sacrificial goat to a flimsy spire swaying
in the wind on top of the world’s tallest building, maybe she can explain it.
Because I definitely can’t.”
How about you? Any first sentences that drew you in? Or, any that you’re working on?
We’d love to know.