Saturday, August 18, 2007

Great Beginnings

Today the first installment in a new regular feature: excellent first lines. Those memorable initial words so uniquely strung together that they can almost stand alone. Some capture the imagination because they are so well written; some, because they provide a startling insight on a common experience; yet others outline a scenario the reader will never encounter but to which they are thrilled to act as spectator. All hook the reader's attention so strongly that it becomes impossible not to continue down the page.

Today's candidate falls in the middle group - probably a lot of women have had vaguely similar feelings on the subject, but somehow this character manages to crystalize the concept.

"Men are like shoes. Some fit better than others. And sometimes you go out shopping and there's nothing you like."
Stephanie Plum, via Janet Evanovich, PLUM LOVIN'

As a reader, what are some of your favorite first lines? If you are a writer, of which first line are you especially proud?

5 comments:

Wylie Kinson said...

Can you tell I'm playing catch-up-on-blogs today? :)

We used to always do 'first lines' in romANTICS but despite my pleas on the loop, no one had any good ones to share!

Amy Ruttan said...

If was the best of times it was the blurst of times ... you stupid monkey.

No seriously I can't even think straight about a good first line. There are just so many.

carrie_lofty said...

I suck a first lines. Except for RWS. "Will Scarlet hated trees."

I think romance writers are all trying to catch up to the husband opener in Austen's P&P.

M. said...

wylie - i loved the nora jones first line a couple of issues ago, a great example of the third group of openers.

amy - 'the blurst of times' - a memorable line, indeed (heh)

carrie - what's the scoop on will? any hints of editor interest? i need to know because i'd really like to credit it properly when i use it as an example in an upcoming 'page 1' update - if you allow

Wylie Kinson said...

Hiya M,

I'm responding to your comment on my blog about Anne Marie MacDonald's Fall On Your Knees...
I read it quite a while back so went back to my original blogpost, the day after I read it. Here's the link, if you'd like my first impression:
http://wyliekinson.blogspot.com/2007/03/another-down-in-50-book-challenge.html

I'm sorry to hear you weren't keen on her second book. I haven't read it yet, but intended to look out for it at the used bookstore...
Perhaps now I won't. I'd hate to be left with a sour taste after Fall On Your Knees...