We all know how important first lines are in our writing. Those lines set the stage for the readers, creating a sense of dread or anticipation, excitement or contemplation. First lines can capture and transport, or convict and challenge. When I start a book and the first line grabs me, I always get a bit of a charge. If the first line is that good, I have great hopes that the rest will be great.
We haven’t done this in awhile, and it’s always great fun when we do, so I thought today would be a good day to share the first line—and ONLY the first line—of our current writing projects. Fiction, nonfiction, children’s, poetry…whatever you’re working on right now, share your first line with us so we can enjoy!
The whole world was on fire.
One must never underestimate a mother’s penchant for meddling. 🙂
Sounds like the start of a Hallmark movie. Cute!
Diane T. Ashley
Pray to the white man’s god to save you now.
“You need to see this.”
“She knew she shouldn’t do it.”
The door opened to a wall of fog as thick as the pea soup her late Great-aunt Lola used to make.
Great first lines. Here’s mine from my NaNo WIP.
“They’re only puppies.”
I love it. I’d keep reading!
Reba Cross Seals
The siren split the night like an over-ripe watermelon.
Carrie and Joe sat in front of the doctor’s desk, waiting.
What fun! I love all of those! I have two:
I didn’t hear the warning until it was too late; I suppose I’d been doing that sort of thing for a long time.
It is never too late for love.
Dr. Cliff Hamilton watched the bright green lines of the EKG dance across the monitor screen.
“I’ll do the whole roof for seven thousand dollars, but I want the pig.”
Wow! You hooked me!
I had been at it for about five weeks.
If you were to walk through some magical doorway and suddenly become completely healthy, would you recognize yourself?
What’s going on here?
Stephanie J. Leinbach
She shoved her fist into her cereal bowl, and our world seized, shook, and shattered.
Sounds like a great start to a kids book like the tiny people of Whoville.
My second one :)- “Nothing on earth is random.”
Zoe M. McCarthy
With the many interruptions to her already loaded schedule, when would she find the time to kill Rita?
“Dr. Kate, do they have Christmas in heaven?”
Obsession is one of my finer qualities.
A person’s entire life could change on a night like this.
“Katarina—dance with me.”
Anna Zadok held her mother’s tiny body close, as if she could imprint the feel of her on her skin.
The world ended three years ago in a cataclysmic shake.
The moment I left the tent, I could feel my days were numbered.
I hate boys’ games.
The only white Christmas I’d ever seen was on television.
Janet Ann Collins
Where am I? How did I get here?
So many great lines! I wish we had the first paragraphs.
Here are three of mine.
The circling buzzards showed Esther where she’d find Uncle Jake.
Hector awoke, once more drenched in sweat after the dream.
Valeria would have laughed if someone told her she would barely avoid being killed twice and then deliberately choose to put herself and her family in mortal danger before nightfall.
The truth is something I can’t compromise.
He was strapped down, then hoisted up and away.
Alyssa bit her lip when she turned the corner onto the broad tree-lined street.
This is from my NaNo first draft. Love how that motivates me to write daily.
Beyond the bedroom window, the throaty rumble of a diesel engine drowned out the morning sound of the rooster crowing and the muted thumping of the woodpecker on the fence post.
It was an accidental discovery, and it changed everything.
I should accept news better.
Arbical tugged the blade of his sword free from the body of the soldier he had just killed.
It all started with Hello.
– granted I don’t know if I’m brilliant or I read that somewhere but I still like it.
Linda Riggs Mayfield
“Every day when the clock struck the three-quarter hour before noon, Elizabeth Winfield Robertson made certain her hair was still tightly curled at the sides and pinned up in the back, then she put her bonnet on over her day cap and hurried to the boardwalk that edged Hampshire Street.”
This is probably the longest first sentence posted, and all the short ones really grabbed my attention. Hmm. Maybe I should re-write my first sentence to go for more of a dramatic hook instead of stimulating curiosity with “show, don’t tell” clues to the historical context. 😉 Do you think a short piece demands an instant attention grab, and a novel allows time to build, or is that wishful thinking?
Wonderful lines, everyone. Great fun reading them.
Linda, short first lines work for any length of work.
Sandra Allen Lovelace
Naomi pressed her knife into the garlic bud and yelped, shaking her hand free and inspecting for blood.
This particular morning I felt such a deep sense of agony and sadness in my belly that gripped like a vise, tighter and tighter.
In the early hours of day, the question flashed from heaven and lit up my heart.
Forgot to leave my name 🙂
This is the first line of my work-in-progress Only Forever, a paranormal and spicy romance novel.
The heater in the B&B’s tiny honeymoon suite was cranked up to high, and Dominic Sullivan, even bare-assed naked, was roasting in the bed.
In summer I didn’t have to go bed early.
I will try again:
“In summer I didn’t have to go to bed early.”
I like it. And I can’t wait to find out what adventures await our protagonist.
H L (Harry) Wegley
Julia Weiss was a dwarf dwelling among giants. (from a political thriller)
Three days to bury the dead.
The dead kept poking him in the back.
There are so many great first lines!
I wanted to run.
I am working on a couple of books:
“She tried on countless occasions to count the stars and found it impossible.”
“The ring burned.”
“The night sky was clear for once.”
First lines of caregiver book:
• Does your life revolve around taking care of another’s needs?
• Does weariness overtake you and some days you wonder if you can take another step?
• Do you have medical, legal, and other questions that need to be answered?
• Does keeping track of medicines and insurance papers have you teetering on the edge of despair?
• Are you perhaps part of the sandwich generation—raising your own family while caring for a parent, another relative or friend?
If it’s important they’ll call back.
Coated in sweat, dirt, and the lust for battle, Gage kicked his mount into a gallop.
“I pulled the trigger.”
I traced the top of the chair rail, the pine molding worn smooth by forty years of touches.
First line from my book “A Beautiful Exchange….”
“I sat at the McDonald’s play place, amidst splotches of ketchup and scattered chicken nuggets, wondering how this had become my new sanctuary.”
So many amazing first lines 🙂
Here’s a couple of mine:
“Why does everyone hate me and Mother, even though you look after us?”
Cold, so much cold that she was sure the only reason her wounds ceased bleeding was because the blood froze within her veins.