Sunday, February 28, 2010

Favorite Opening Lines or Just Favorite Lines

Thanks for the feedback on the opening lines blog. Now I'd like to know your favorite opening lines from other novelists, famous or not, or just your favorite lines from a novel.

Right now my favorite opening line is from Harlan Coben's, No Second Chance. "When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter."

Doesn't that make you want to stop everything and find out what happens next?


  1. Okay, I read this one YEARS ago and will have to paraphrase - I don't have a clue as to the author.

    "Of the four men in the room, only three of us were breathing."

    Carlene Rae Dater

  2. Awesome first line. I would love to read that book. If you remember the novel, please let me know. I can learn a lot from a talented author.

  3. I can't think of any first lines right now, but like the example you mentioned, the best ones refer to some crisis, present or past. Then you have to stick around to see what the heck THAT was about.

    This is a neat blog, I found you from
    Can't wait to read some of your work!

  4. Thanks for responding. I love first lines that are intriguing and, like you said, make me feel like I need to see 'what THAT was about'. That makes me excited about reading the book.

    I'd love to know what you think of my work.

  5. The line that won our recent best first sentence contest was: "Killing Flippo was easy." Gets your attention, doesn't it?

    From one of my favorite books, SOUNDER, here's the first sentence: "The tall man stood at the edge of the porch." (I'd have to know who the tall man was so I'd keep reading.)

    Anything that Harlan Coben or James Patterson writes is great. I love a first line that immediately grabs my attention and makes me want to keep reading--either something dramatic or catchy dialogue. I don't like long, flowery descriptive first lines about the setting. I need someone to grab me by the throat!

    Good luck, M.J. Have you found your hook?

    P.S. I am so going to pose this ? on my blog. I've seen several authors post it and it's a wonderful idea.

  6. Yes, the line "Killing Flippo was easy" does get me. I would like to find out what happens next.

    Also, I LOVE Harlan Coben. I just started reading his novels and can't put them down. I wish I'd heard of him sooner. He is an amazing author.

    I'm still looking for my hook. I've tried several possibilities but keep rejecting them. I know it will hit me when I least expect.

    How are things going with your novel? Are you seeking an agent? Any luck?

    M.J. Macie

  7. GREAT opening line! You've inspired me to really put in some deep thought over my next opening line. thanks!

  8. Glad I could inspire you. I really struggle over my first lines. I want them to really hook the reader and for the most part I'm never really satisfied with them. However, at some point I must choose the line I like best and move on.