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.
Labels: fiction, first sentences, novels, Opening lines, writers