Girls Write Out
Thursday, August 04, 2011

I'm on another writer's loop that occasionally talks about first sentences. That all important grouping of words that hopes to snag the reader and reel them in. I love reading through them. Many of them do pull me in, and I want them to hurry up and write their books so I can read them!

Opening lines can set the tone. Many times it lets you know what sort of genre you're reading (suspense, horror, women's fiction). It can let you know writing style: lighthearted, serious, comedy . . . .

Let's take a look at a first sentence by one of my favorite writers: Snoopy.

"It was a dark and stormy night."

Okay, that's a bit telling instead of showing, but that's a topic for another time. It does, however, conjure up a few things for me. Since it's not a picture book I'm wondering how that dark and stormy night affects the main character (MC). Is she in trouble? Has she locked every door and window in the house but there is one window with a broken hinge that refuses to close entirely? We're not just worried about the rain getting in, but maybe there's someone lurking in the bushes.

Or maybe the MC is happy that it's a dark and stormy night. Dad is a farmer, so the rain forces him inside. Brother can't ride his motorcycle, so he's inside. Mom bakes some goodies because they're all together and as they've done on so many other rainy nights, they have family game night.

See what I mean? That opening line can take you many places and you want to know where it will go.

So if you're a writer, share an opening line. If you're not or if you're too shy to share one of your own, share an opening line from a book that you've read.

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Diann Hunt  
posted at 10:33 AM  
  Comments (8)
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At 11:12 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Great blog, Di. That first sentence is important. I usually have to go back to mine in later drafts and work on it.

My 1st sentence in my current WIP is:

Annie Stevens was sitting in the Chuckwagon, minding her own business, when he walked in.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Love it, Di. Here's mine. It's sort of two. LOL

It might be said that Daphne Sweeten lived a charmed life. That is, until her wedding day.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Great topic! Here's mine:

Libby Holladay fought her way through the brambles to the overgrown garden

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Stacie said...

Gemma hated spring, especially spring in Ohio.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Judy Gann said...

Great post. Here's mine:

I've gotta get off this bus. Now.

At 12:52 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I'll play, though I'm late:
A silver blade sliced through the curtained exam room, its target the helpless patient of Dr. Megan Bradley.

At 1:12 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

One of my favorite first sentences (though it's more than one sentence) was one I wrote for Creative Writing class in college:

When the power went out I felt alone. VERY alone. And all I could think of was that stupid question, "What's a nice girl like me doing in a dump like this?"

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

From my first published work:
"The words Rose Bentley was about to speak froze in her throat as she caught sight of a movement out of the corner of her eye."


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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