Sunday, July 3, 2011

Catchy Opening Lines...

I'm in the middle of rewriting the beginning of one of my novels right now and it's inspired me to take a look at other beginning lines. So I did a bit of nosing through some of my favorite books and found a list of catchy beginning sentences. I've listed them below.... try and guess in the comments which book each line came from. I'll post the answers later this week. I think the best thing about seeing the first line without knowing the book, is that it really gives you the tune that the story will follow for the rest of the book. So first lines in a way, are a bit like tuning forks. Feel free to post the first line of something you've been working on in the comments.

1. "Linderwall was a large kingdom, just east of the Mountains of Morning, where philosophers were highly respected and the number five was fashionable. "

2. "I never had a brain until Freak came along and let me borrow his for awhile, and that's the truth, the whole truth."

3. "We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck."

4. "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."

5. "The week before Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were to leave Tenderly, Ohio, for the somewhat more bustling metropolis of Paris, their babysitter, who had just returned from far-off climes herself, came down with a mild case of bubonic plague and called tearfully to say she didn't want to spread the buboes around."

6. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date."

7. "In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three."


  1. I have no clue about any of those, but I like them. My favorites are number 2 and number 6.

  2. 1 is Dealing with Dragons, but the Mountains of Morning kinda gave it away (at least to me)

    4 is probably my favorite, but I like dark fiction

  3. Lol, ironically, I believe I loaned you a copy of #4.

  4. Great lines.

    Number 6 has been borrowed.

    How about this one, pulled from a great Jan 22 2009 novel:

    "A lost kindergartner--it made Ruby feel somewhat better that it was a new kid, one who had not listened to her constant warnings to avoid the dark spaces, especially underneath the slide."

    (Full disclosure: I changed a period to an em dash to keep it one sentence.)

  5. Lol, it's true, #6 has been borrowed, which makes it all the more hilarious. Thanks for the shout out of that mysterious beginning... even though it's not the beginning anymore.