Whenever I walk into a bookstore and am enticed by a novel, I read the first line. If I like the first line, I allow myself (if I have time) to read the first chapter of the book. If I like the first chapter, then I write down the title for a library book rental or purchase the book at that moment.
I sometimes struggle with writing the perfect first line of a story because the rest falls flat (feels like for me) and doesn’t live up to what I promised my reader in that first line. I’ve read so many great first lines of stories and novels that I wonder how long the authors spent on constructing those amazing intros.
The First Line Literary Journal is all about first lines. Except the journal provides the first line and the writer fills in the rest. Pretty neat, huh? It also works as a contest where there is a possibility the story can be published in the journal. I’ve never submitted because I couldn’t commit to doing this due to terrible time management. Like I’ve mentioned before on this blog, the goal is to submit somewhere and this could be that somewhere.
What are your favorite first lines in a novel or short story?