“An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.” – Stephen King
Eliza from The Bookish Universe wrote a blog post on her favourite first lines. Since I read this article on why Stephen King spends months and years writing first lines in books, I’ve become interested with first lines. It’s a great way to draw the reader in, capture their attention and give them a reason to read on. It’s a significant part of writing a book. Before that, I never realised how important first lines were. I would read a book regardless of whether the first line was good or not.
To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did. I was just a girl. – The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Lesyle Walton
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” – The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. – A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
Every morning I wake up and tell myself this: It’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through. – Where She Went, Gayle Forman
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense. – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another. – The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
These are just some of my favourites. I have yet to discover more great opening first lines. What are some of your favourite first lines?
(Source: I found these arrow illustrations on Pinterest)