Tuesday, August 16, 2011
A good first line must catch your attention. I mean, duh. Describing the weather, waking up, looking in the mirror, or long purple descriptions of the scenery are going to pretty much going to lose me quick.
A good first line introduces some element of the story. There are some first lines that I've read that are just in there because they catch the reader's attention (I won't name examples, but one in particular just irks me to even think about). Now, if done well, this element of the story is going to hook me right off the bat. Maybe it's a love interest, or a magical element, or something that's going to make me go 'oh!'
A good first line gives me a hint of the main character. Maybe not directly, but I want to know who I'm going to be rooting for in the story, and the earlier this is done, the better in my mind.
These are the things that are coming to mind right off the bat. I'm sure there are more, as a first line really has a lot of elements to do. And everyone's different, too. Some people may actually like a first line that describes the weather (and hey, my all-time favorite book does just that--A Wrinkle in Time "It was a dark and stormy night.")
So, what makes a killer first line to you?