I was listening to Jeffrey Deaver this past week and he was talking about our job as writers...we owe it to our readers that from the first line through everyone there after to entertain and pull the reader through the story to the end.
So I took a random selection off my bookshelf and looked at the first lines....
1. Okay, so finding a naked man in her bed wasn't that unusual.
2. Last night, when the third gin and tonic finally knocked the sharp edges off my day, I dared to look in the mirror.
3. When the east wind blows up the Helford river the shining waters become troubled and disturbed and the little waves beat angrily upon the sandy shore.
4. When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why.
5. I, Hassan the son of Muhammad the weigh master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from African, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia.
I think it's easy to guess the genre of the novels and in some cases the authors. Four out of five raise a question and one sets a scene... A first line draws a reader in, sometimes encapsulates a whole book. It is the writer saying follow me and I will give you pleasure, take you away, teach you, scare you but ultimately entertain you. I will enrich your life with a my tale for a the hours that you give it to me....
Help! That's a big task and that first line, opening paragraph, first page is ultimately a promise, a glimpse of what is to follow. So what is your favorite first line? If you are a writer do you sweat over it? Is it written first or last?
The first lines above are from:-
1. LOVE POTIONS by Christina Jones
2. OLD SCHOOL TIES by Kate Harrison
3. FRENCHMAN'S CREEK by Daphne Du Maurier
4. MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Piccoult
5. LEO THE AFRICAN by Amin Maloof
Please come by on Thursday to see what Biddy has to say....