Monday, June 9, 2008


"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Now that is truly a great beginning in so many ways. But the classics in literature have not always been so wonderful.

Moby Dick: "My name is..."

David Copperfield: "I was born..."

If we started off books like this today, do you really think they would sell? Nope. No way. Granted, the classics got nice and juicy after you waded through the monotony of the first two to three chapters but, in our world, there is a whole lot of competition. We have televisions, movies and video games. On top of that, we have to compete with all the other talented writers.

Writers know that the first line in our story is our one big chance to snatch a reader's interest and the first paragraph must reel them into wanting to know more about our story. We worry over it and suffer if we don't get it right.

I'm right there with the rest of the authors wanting the reader to find my stories entertaining and interesting.

Here are the first lines from my books:

THE VIOLIN: "Genevieve tossed restlessly in the bed, her breath quickening as she fell into the familiar dream."

THE DARK ISLE: "Deep, deep beneath the ancient crumbling stones of the black castle, seated on the Dark Isle in the middle of the Lake of Sorrows, there below the dust and cobwebs lay Mahara, the creature of the Black Blood and the Old Clan."

LAKE OF SORROWS: "Hawk leaned back in his chair and propped his booted feet on Noratuke's saddle.

LIGHT OF VALMORA (WIP): "Death whispered to him its dark, seductive song."

Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride (WIP): " 'This place is spooky as hell,' Lola whispered to herself as she climbed the narrow span of wooden stairs in the back of the closet that led up to the attic."

Some of my opening lines are good and some, not so much. I try to improve as I write.

So I invite you to reply with your favorite first lines whether they are your own or by someone else. What grabbed your attention to the book you are presently reading? Did the first line in the beginning make a difference to you?

I look forward to hearing from anyone out there who cares to respond with their favorite first line.

All good things to your corner of the universe.

Sarah McNeal

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