Monday, June 4, 2012

DARK and STORMY First Lines!


Okay, who doesn't love a great first line? First lines can set the tone for entire stories. They can convey raw emotions. They can be the inspiration for entire novels. P. J. (Tricia) Hoover here, and I am totally guilty of having an entire novel of mine inspired by a first line. The funniest part? That line didn't even survive revisions! But the novel remains (SOLSTICE, Tor Teen, June 2013), so all is good.

Anyway, here at The Enchanted Inkpot, we thought it would be fun to collect up a bunch of first lines for our works-in-progress (WIPs). Some first drafts. Some final. All amazing! So here they are for your reading pleasure.

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BEST FIRST LINES EVER


Lots of people in New York go to church on Sunday. Even more than that sleep in. Mike and I meet for pizza.
“My treat,” I say.
Mike slaps down a twenty before I can get my wallet out. “Next time, Logan.”
I scowl but don’t argue because Mike always pays. I used to put up more of a fight; it never works. And since I don’t have a job and my aunt has a strict no-allowance rule, I’m penniless lots of the time. Truly, I need to find a job. Having no money sucks. -- P. J. Hoover, title TBD


Death stalked the spider, pre-algebra book in hand. --Ellen Booraem


Lydia Cohen gazed at her fingers, the bare swath of nail revealed by the chipped black polish reminding her vaguely of the Horn of Africa. -- Lisa Amowitz, EXCEPTIONAL

There's a right way to do things and a wrong way, if you're going to run a hotel in a smugglers' town. -- Kate Milford, GREENGLASS HOUSE

Surely it was the persistent Yorkshire wind that made the legions of gravestones all lean towards the parsonage, but ever since Anne was a child she'd had the notion that the stones were straining towards her home, their progress glacial, yet inevitable, their one aim to break through the low stone wall that held them back, to invade the little patch of green that separated the parsonage from the graveyard, and envelope them all. -- Lena Coakley, THE WORLDS BELOW



The girl with no name stood on the stone steps looking up at the building in front of her. -- Miriam Forster, prequel to CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS


Josie's ancient Tercel shuddered in protest as she stepped on the accelerator.
"Come on." She leaned forward in her seat, willing the old car to go faster. "If I'm late again Mr. Reed is totally going to fire my ass."
As if in answer, the Tercel lurched forward. The car, a hand-me-down from her cousin, was older than she was, and the engine screeched in protest as she held the pedal to the floor. The speedometer flickered, desperately grasping for 45MPH. For a fleeting moment, Josie thought the Teal Monster, as her friends had dubbed her car, might actually have some kick left in her.
Yeah, not so much. The engine sputtered, momentum slowed, and Josie had to downshift to third gear.
"I hate you," she said, slapping the steering wheel with the palm of her hand. "Just so you know." -- Gretchen McNeil, 3:59


The music beat hard against Joy’s ribs. -- Dawn Metcalf, INDELIBLE (Harlequin Teen, July 2013)

Joy grabbed the first ceramic platter piled high with Cobb salad and ran a moist towel around the rim, making it neat. -- Dawn Metcalf, sequel to INDELIBLE, 2014


I was twelve the day the king ordered Nowan flogged to his death.
It was not the first time he had been beaten, for he was my whipping boy. But, unlike on previous occasions when he had been punished for my mistakes, I was unaware of having done anything wrong, and couldn’t understand my father’s sudden rage. -- Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban, THE REVENGE OF THE WOLF KING




It hung there, suspended between two trees, a giant bolt of cloud. A promise. I am not a cloud. I am a flying saucer. I can take you away. Just stretch out your hands and leap. Tempting. -- Keely Parrack


The mirror shattered into a thousand tiny fragments. -- Leah Cypess, sequel to DEATHSWORN


By the time Jonah broke into the dungeon, the sorcerer was dead. -- Cinda Williams Chima, THE ENCHANTED HEIR


Queen Calendrea stood high on a hill at the edge of a clearing, shrouded in shadow, a wolf her sole companion. The old woman’s brilliant green eyes pierced the darkness, scanning the field. She tentatively stepped forward, the hem of her cape billowing out behind her in the bitter wind. Satisfied, she quickened her pace, as the thick clouds that wrapped around the sky parted directly above her, allowing the moon to shine down brightly. She stopped at the edge of the precipice and stared down at the village hamlet below, only a few lights twinkled against the night sky. -- Erin Cashman, LEGEND OF THE FOUR


The alarm sounded at 3:35 in the morning. The lights flashed blindingly bright, illuminating the frightened faces of my capsule mates Specimen Iota and Specimen Theta. I wasn’t frightened, though. That was an emotion I hadn’t been programmed with yet. -- Sybil Nelson, DARK MARCO
 



Arms pumping, Thackery sprinted for the chainsaw and swept it up from where it lay on top of a fresh grave. -- Caroline Hooton


Riev crouched in the wagon's shadow, watching and listening. -- Hilari Bell, THE FIXER


The last day of Kaile's life did not start well. -- William Alexander, GHOULISH SONG

The Envoy tossed itself at the world. -- William Alexander, WIP


May your first lines be fun, crisp, and free of cliches, back story, and characters looking in the mirror. And may you nights be ever dark and stormy!

Thanks for reading! 


1 comment:

  1. i am going to the theater in an hour wooohoooo!

    ReplyDelete

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