Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Opening Lines... and a shout out!

First up, I would like to take a moment to thank the uber-smart and insightful Laura Diamond! Aside from having such a cool blog (and YA manuscript that I'm dying to read!), Miss Diamond kindly featured me on her Up and Coming Blogger Tuesdays. Not sure I deserve it, but don't tell her that...

Also, she posted a picture of Jensen Ackles!!! Fangirl scream!!!

Yes, I know he's engaged to someone else (a very gorgeous and talented someone else...). But still, my heart is his. The end.

Anyway, I wanted to talk a bit about something I've been meaning to discuss. Many writers stress over plot, voice, climax, yadda yadda yadda... Don't get me wrong: all of that is important. But something I really look forward to reading every time I pick up a new book is...

The opening lines.

I love them. Sometimes they decide whether I keep reading with enthusiasm or if I just read to finish what I started. Most newbie writers make the mistake of opening their book with the weather, or with a character waking up and brushing their teeth, or doing something action-packed that ends up being a dream.

Trust me, I've been that newbie writer. I am that newbie writer. *shudders from embarrassment*

So, I'm going to share some examples from the published pros I love. My goal is to feature at least ten of them.

Here's the first:

"You never think it will happen to you." --Ghostgirl, Tonya Hurley.

I don't know about you, but I'm left with a million questions right off the bat. What don't I think will ever happen to me? How does the MC feel about this thing that's supposed to happen to everybody? Is it good or bad? Does the story revolve around this mystery thing?

Needless to say, that opening line does exactly what the author wanted it to: get you to read further. It doesn't have to be mouth-hanging-open shocking to prompt you to flip through those pages. Something simple, yet vague, usually does the trick in a better way.

So there you have it, my first favorite opening line. More are still to come, peeps. Pinky swear.

Now off to write!


  1. Great point about openings. I just printed up a list of some of the all time greatest openings for a book exchange I am hosting. I was just drooling with jealousy over some of them. Thanks for stopping by my blog and becoming a follower!

  2. I recently entered a first paragraph contest. The judges gave feedback as how to make the entries stronger. One of the suggestions was to move my last sentence to the front. And boy did it make a different. It hooks you right it. Of course, I then had to rewrite the rest of the paragraph to make it work. ;)

    Enjoy Perfect Chemistry. It's one of my favorites.

  3. Yes, the opening line makes you want to read on. I just read a few other blogs on opening lines today. Must be in the air... :)

  4. Angie- Hi! Kudos on your blog, girl. Sooo glad I found it! And best of luck with your book exchange!

    Stina- That's brilliant advice. I've never read it before, and sounds like something we should all try. Thanks for the tip! And guess what??? Perfect Chemistry is starting to become one of my favorites, too! Love that Alex Fuentes...

    Elana- Dude! So glad you visited my blog! And yeah, I did see other blogs with the whole opening line approach. As a matter of fact, I saw the opening lines to Control Issues and loved them! So, so, sooo excited to read it one day!

  5. I agree. I open a book and totally decide if I'm going to be into the book based on those lines.
    Great blog and I love your style!

  6. That is a great opening line.

    I don't rely on the opening line so much as the first paragraph. But I agree, beginnings are important.

  7. Lydia- I heart you more than you will ever know, girlie! Thanks for the support!

    Palindrome- I LOVE that opening line so much, I would marry it. And yeah, sometimes a whole paragraph either does it for me or doesn't. Beginnings = Epic Win or Fail.