Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Line- where to start

Most stories don't start at the beginning.  Because, damn, that would be boring. The beginning... seriously? The beginning of time? The big bang? When the main character's great great great grandmother came to America and was attacked by a sheep?  Nope.

Most novels start in the middle.

It's the events that just happened and that are GOING to happen, that's what's interesting.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
"Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day.  Lucky to be alive-that's what everyone said."
WOW! Oh what happened?  Lucky to be alive, really!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
" 'You've got to be kidding me,' the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest."
What's so weird that surprises a bouncer? What is the bouncer looking at? Who is he looking at?  How did they get there?

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
"There thing I know this second: I have morning breath, I'm naked, and I'm waking up next to a boy I don't know."  
Yeah do I even need to say anything?  What happened the night before? How is the narrator going to react?  What's next is just as interesting as what happened.

This week I'm focusing on the first few pages of your book.  This week there will be a Contest on Friday--  Fricking Awesome First Lines.
  • You will need to e-mail or post your first line in the comments on Thursday's post. 
  • You need to be a follower of the blog. 
  • Vote for your favorite on Friday.
  • Winner will get a $10 gift card and a 10 page critique from me.


  1. Sounds exciting :) Do you have any specifications for genre?

  2. interesting, I will try to remember to get over here and see all the happenings.

  3. Love contests! However...I won't be able to vote on Friday because I'll be in the frozen tundra of northern NH without immediate internet availability... :(