1. So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee. (Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson)
2. Good girls don't walk with boys. (Control Issues by, that's right--me!)
3. I'd never given much thought to how I would die--though I'd had reason enough in the last few months--but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)
4. A tree branch slapped John Craig across the face. (Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer)
5. The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling)
6. The haze settling in Jesse Oropeza's head has nothing to do with Mr. Sadler's droning lecture on functions, though that would have done it. (Living Assistants - yours truly)
7. The acrid smell of smoke floated in my head, taunting me. (Elemental Hunger - me again)
8. "You've got to be kidding me," the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest. (City of Bones by Cassandra Clare)
9. When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)
10. Dark shapes drifted in front of the car, blocking the oncoming lights from the freeway. (The Mirror - mine)
12. With one last, almighty roar, the Frenchman fell to his knees and died. (Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King)
Our golden ticket holders:
Nisa: Power touched him, gripping him tightly.
Robyn: Anna threw open the barn door, smiling at her horse.
Liz: To say the house was old would be an understatement.
Michelle: Okay, even for a Monday my day was pretty suck-tacular.
Jamie: “Are we going to take her to the cabin first, or inject her right here?”
Tess: Ollie's daddy was born a preacher, no choice in the matter.
Scott: The fairy godmother (okay, it was a drag queen dressed as Glinda the Good Witch) waved her magic wand and solved all the problems of the Universe.
Jake was beyond furious.
~Jamie: I hold my breath and dive into the crawl space just before the beam of a flashlight sweeps across the wall.
Christine: Always running; always the same.
Most people forget their dreams.
Nesya climbed the steps of the subway platform, her human form still foreign.
KLo: I felt revulsion toward my son today.
Lady Glamis: A book of poetry. Naomi didn’t know why the man looking down at her was pressing a thin volume of poetry to his chest, but it was the first thing that fueled her hope of staying alive.
Beth: My name is Elder, even though I'm the youngest one on the ship.
C.N.: I found Jesus in the Five Man Electric Band, and I found him there because Jesus plays Chinese chess.
God Bless the flower pots.
As I douse your body in gasoline, pouring almost a full gallon into the gash I opened in your throat, and then proceed to light you ablaze, I realize that it’s still not enough.
People like to read poems about monkeys.
Sandra: As soon as Paul Harrison left the stage, he ripped the holoprojector bands off his arms. The cherubs dumped another basket of hearts into the vat. I was mopping up puppy piss in the waiting room when a client brought in his bearded dragon.
Michelle: While most teenagers reveled in moments of tested independence with their parents, Faith McDaniels had been cheated of that coming-of-age ritual; death had a way of changing priorities in life.
Jessica: If there was one thing Rachel McCormick hated more than breaking into the mayor’s house, it was getting caught.
Danyelle: The world began with a wish and a flame.
Bettyk: As the clock struck midnight the bells of Westminster Abby began to peal; it was a solemn occasion and the carillons tolled with a distinct half-muffled ring. A proclamation of bereavement.
C. Taylor: The body lay as it had fallen, the man’s limbs bent at awkward angles.
Lady Phoebe Hughes came down the stairs, her hand tight on the railing in case she should misstep and fall.
Crystal: Dear Mama, I hope you are doing well. PLEASE COME GET ME AND OTIS!
I'm going to pick five (not necessarily my top five. Remember my desire for nice-nice?) that I liked and explain why. You're welcome to do the same. The questions for today are: What makes a great first line? What sucks you in? Why does it grip you so? And, how much time and energy do you put into that first line?
1. The world began with a wish and a flame.
***I like this because I want to know what the wish was, what the world was, and how the flame plays into all of it. I'd read on for sure.
2. Okay, even for a Monday my day was pretty sucktacular.
***I love the voice of this. I like sassy and snappy and cool new words like sucktacular. *wink* Like you all didn't know that. I'd read a whole novel with snark like this.
3. “Are we going to take her to the cabin first, or inject her right here?”
***Oooh, what cabin? Inject her with what? Why? Who is she? Who are "they"? This brings so many intriguing questions that I'd read on for a while to find out the answers.
4. The fairy godmother (okay, it was a drag queen dressed as Glinda the Good Witch) waved her magic wand and solved all the problems of the Universe.
***Dude, I need a fairy godmother that can solve the problems of the universe. Badly. This also has great voice that grabs and the drag queen adds an interesting twist. I wonder where it will go next--what with the problems all solved and everything. I'd read on to find out.
5. The body lay as it had fallen, the man’s limbs bent at awkward angles.
***I like a good mystery, so this draws me in immediately.
So sometimes it's voice (okay, for me, a lot of the time, the voice is the first thing that hooks me), sometimes it's content (mystery injections, dead bodies) and sometimes it's simply the intrigue of what might come next.
In all honesty, I don't spend much time on the first line of my novels. Heck, just writing the beginning is always like Chinese water torture, but once I know where to start the story, the first line just sort of falls into place.
Today's questions are just above my picks. Which of these first lines do you like best? And why?