New Year, New First Lines!

Are you as stunned as I am that we’re already weeks into 2017? I figure the beginning of an all-new year is a great time to share our all-new first lines! I love seeing what you all are working on, so jump in and share the first line—and ONLY the first line—of your current work in progress. Fiction, nonfiction, children’s book, whatever. Let the sharing begin!

Here’s mine:

His first breath of freedom in fifteen years was made even sweeter by the sure knowledge that retribution was at hand.

84 Responses to New Year, New First Lines!

  1. Avatar
    Louise M. Gouge January 25, 2017 at 5:16 am #

    Sheriff Justice Gareau ducked around the corner of the Esperanza train depot, hoping he hadn’t been spotted by the woman who’d stepped off the train.

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      Nora Spinaio January 25, 2017 at 9:33 am #

      Love or money or crime? I know, it’s love isn’t it….or infatuation.

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    Pegg Thomas January 25, 2017 at 5:42 am #

    With a final snip, another layer of guilt fell into Yarrow Fenn’s lap amid the soft folds of wool from her loom.

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    Connie Almony January 25, 2017 at 5:54 am #

    She’d escaped!

  4. Avatar
    Beverly Brooks January 25, 2017 at 6:02 am #

    Yashmea laid his calloused hand on the polished oak railing of the Lodge, closed his fiery eyes, and breathed deeply.

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    Kathy Cassel January 25, 2017 at 6:02 am #

    The lights went out as the last worker left the building, and the clinic was cast into darkness except for one small light in the intensive care unit.

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    Cathy Hinkle January 25, 2017 at 6:08 am #

    She did not have a name, none of them did, but once, when she was small, she almost had a friend.

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      Laura Bennet January 25, 2017 at 6:19 am #

      Love it. I’m hooked.

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      Eva Marie Everson January 25, 2017 at 9:12 am #

      LOVE IT!!!

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      M K Simonds January 26, 2017 at 10:57 am #

      Really an awesome opening!

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      Cathy January 26, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

      Thanks! Working on the first book I’ve truly attempted, since the short stories I wrote as a kid don’t count. My imaginary friends didn’t talk to me for a xouple of weeks. It was lonely…

      So, thanks for the kind words!

      (And, no, she still doesn’t have a name. On purpose. 🙂 )

  7. Avatar
    Yaasha Moriah January 25, 2017 at 6:17 am #

    “Katryl saw him as soon as the last indistinct line of the shore melted into the horizon and the world became ocean as far as she could see.”

    This is the starting line of Book 3 of an epic fantasy series I call the Firewing Chronicles.

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      Cathy January 26, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

      …and the world became ocean as far as she could see…

      I really like that!! 🙂

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    Robin Patchen January 25, 2017 at 6:18 am #

    Karen, I love your line, and the ones above are wonderful, too. Here’s mine:

    In a lifetime of strange things Matty had seen his father do, this was the strangest.

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      Pegg Thomas January 25, 2017 at 6:33 am #

      Oh … I haven’t seen that one yet. Looking forward to it!

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    Laura Bennet January 25, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    “Sierra Jane cowered on the front steps of her apartment building, clutching a stuffed bunny to her chest.”

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      Nora January 25, 2017 at 9:28 am #

      Already want to slap some adult.

  10. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser January 25, 2017 at 6:56 am #

    Rupert’s mother had always wanted him to get ahead in life, but was nonplussed when her boy became Henry VIII’s Lord High Executioner.

  11. Avatar
    Amanda Cleary Eastep January 25, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    “My grandmother couldn’t read books, but she could read coffee grounds.”

    This is fun, Karen. Thanks for asking us to share. Your first line is about to burst!

  12. Avatar
    Jon Guenther January 25, 2017 at 7:22 am #

    My day began tailing some bum two-timing his wife, and ended with a half-million bucks and a dead body in the trunk of my car.

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    Louise M. Gouge January 25, 2017 at 7:34 am #

    Get a head? Executioner? LOL! What a great line. Is this a comedy?

  14. Avatar
    Katie Powner January 25, 2017 at 7:37 am #

    She thought he was bluffing at first.

  15. Avatar
    Richard Mabry January 25, 2017 at 7:41 am #

    The phone beside his bed woke him at 3:00 a.m. on Monday.

  16. Avatar
    Joey Rudder January 25, 2017 at 8:03 am #

    I held a plastic bag with Ramen noodles in one hand and a key in the other that no longer unlocked my apartment door.

  17. Avatar
    Dineen Miller January 25, 2017 at 8:53 am #

    I’ll brave a share.

    Angels rode on clouds like these.

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      Nora Spinaio January 25, 2017 at 9:30 am #

      I like it. Non-fiction?

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        Dineen Miller January 25, 2017 at 9:32 am #

        Thank you! No, actually. Fiction. Has a lot of supernatural elements in it.

  18. Avatar
    Lee Carver January 25, 2017 at 8:54 am #

    Katie Dennis stepped from the seaplane onto its float with her knees still shaking.

  19. Avatar
    Carol Ashby January 25, 2017 at 9:10 am #

    “Death stalks you today. Twice he will miss. The third time…”

    This is the beginning of my second novel in the Light in the Empire series that I hope to have in market in April.

  20. Avatar
    Nora Spinaio January 25, 2017 at 9:31 am #

    Sleep is good. Catching a killer is better.

    First line for a story I haven’t even really thought about yet.

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      Cathy Hinkle January 26, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      I get those, too, flashes of stories that don’t yet have quite enough to build on. I save them. Just in case. 🙂

  21. Avatar
    Wendy L Macdonald January 25, 2017 at 9:37 am #

    Denial is a demon–I’m sure of it, yet how hard we try to hide the signs and symptoms something’s wrong.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  22. Avatar
    Carrie Talbott January 25, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    Kids fall and hit their heads all the time, and then they move on.

    Mine didn’t.

  23. Avatar
    Bob January 25, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    I’m twelve years old and pretty tough.

  24. Avatar
    Linda January 25, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    Love that line Karen, it hints at so much. Lots of intriguing lines here.

  25. Avatar
    Mary Albers Felkins January 25, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    Surely Rose’s most well-to-do parent, who drove the white Escalade and wore Louis Vuitton shoes, could make an effort to pay the two hundred dollar tuition for her daughter Camille’s ballet classes this month.

  26. Avatar
    Cindy Fowell January 25, 2017 at 11:22 am #

    Margaret Smith hated stairs, narrow and steep, spilling into the men below.

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      Nicola January 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

      This has potential! I can see the spotlights, the smokey atmosphere, her sequined outfit.
      Or is she an army nurse stepping off an ambulance bus?

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        Cindy Fowell January 25, 2017 at 8:38 pm #

        Thank you, Nicola. Your comments helped confirm I’m on the right track. Setting is 1890 mining town in her father’s saloon.

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      M K Simonds January 26, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      Absolutely beautiful!

  27. Avatar
    H L Wegley January 25, 2017 at 11:42 am #

    To suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none — the words terrified Alisa Petrenko, because they were not true.

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    Jennifer Fromke January 25, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Desperately wanting something to be true cannot make that thing true.

  29. Avatar
    James L. Rubart January 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    Torren Daniels knew if he knocked on the door and she answered, it might kill her soul once and for all, but he didn’t have a choice; not really.

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    Jessica January 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

    Nia stood waist deep in the water gazing ahead at the towering ivory river steps descending into the pristine river.

  31. Avatar
    Nicola January 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    “Mine Own!” Mother’s cry rang the cave walls.

  32. Avatar
    Bonnie Engstrom January 25, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

    My first line in the sixth book in my Candy Cane Girls series is this:


  33. Avatar
    Kristen Terrette January 25, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    September wasn’t supposed to be as hot as the middle of July in North Georgia but the sweat dripping down my face told me something different.

    Fun! And there are some TERRIFIC first lines in this feed!

  34. Avatar
    Katheryn Maddox Haddad January 25, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    I write biblical fiction. On the book I completed just before Christmas about “The Fourth Wiseman” it begins with the other wise men making fun of him:

    “You can’t just buy the Garden of Eden.”

    In the book I am beginning this week, it opens in Antioch, Syria in the first century. This is the first line:

    “Hurry, Stephen, they’re crucifying Abraham.”

    (Not THE Abraham, a namesake centuries later)

  35. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser January 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    This, from my just-begun WIP:

    When Dr. Sally Rhodes, a Freudian psychologist, fell in love with Stephen Rasher, who had just earned his doctorate in theology, she found herself in a paradox.

    Let the groaning commence.

  36. Avatar
    Martha Whiteman Rogers January 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    Love reading all your lines. Some have me so intrigued, I want to read them NOW!
    This is one I hope to have finished and to my editor in the next two weeks.

    “Did you hear we had another theft last night?”

  37. Avatar
    M K Simonds January 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    “It was a drag when that hippie kid drowned.”

  38. Avatar
    Sue Barr January 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

    When Leah Swanson made plans for her twenty-fifth birthday, dying was not on her immediate to-do list.


    Keeping secrets was bad. Keeping secrets from family and friends was a recipe for disaster and the one Gretchen kept close to her heart would never see light of day.

    This was fun!

  39. Avatar
    Sheri Dean Parmelee January 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

    Hi Karen:
    Here’s my first line:

    The movie “The Second Best Marigold Hotel” opens with the elderly character Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench) trying to sign up for internet service on what was her late husband’s account.

    While that does not seem particularly inspiring as I read it here, all of my chapters in “Suddenly Single: A Practical Guide to Maintaining Your Household When Your Spouse is NLA” begin with a story. I decided to begin the financial chapter with Judi Dench’s tale of woe.

  40. Avatar
    Heather January 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

    Space was cold and vast.

  41. Avatar
    Lois Keffer January 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    The auctioneer’s cry jarred Stella. A gust of wind off the mountain spat grit in her face. She rubbed her eyes with with the heels of her hands, as if by doing so she could erase the awful realities of the day.

  42. Avatar
    M J Rhyne January 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    It was a truth universally taught in the monastery that the first step toward darkness was the easiest. And the most dangerous.

  43. Avatar
    Karen Ball January 25, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    Oh, you guys, these are grand! Well done!

  44. Avatar
    naomi` January 25, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

    breathtaking!! So thankful for the talents God gives.

  45. Avatar
    Henry Styron January 27, 2017 at 6:46 am #

    Once there was a beautiful young princess named Jiang who lived in a far away land and was very lonely.

    This is a FUN thread.

  46. Avatar
    Cheryl Sterling January 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    Lex Sands swung the ax with force and decapitated his victim.

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    Rita Gerlach January 30, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Anna Cray hated trains, the coal smoke, steam, and shrill whistle, that is until today.

    — Tell me how to make it better. I’m not sure if it is enough to grab the reader.

  48. Avatar
    Damon J. Gray January 31, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.

  49. Avatar
    Nathan Maki February 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

    Quintus was only seven the day he decided to win a crown.

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