I really liked that, so I asked SJ to tell me her top five favorite first lines from books. She’s picked some great lines and explained why she thinks opening lines are so important. Let’s see what she’s picked, shall we?
1. “My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die. I counted.” Jellicoe Road
2. “I am a coward.” Code Name Verity
3. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” The Hobbit
4. “This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” The Princess Bride
5. “If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.” Series of Unfortunate Events
I absolutely love a first line that makes me stop in my tracks and go “Wait, what?” These lines caught me off guard when I first read them. They made me raise my eyebrows and want to keep reading. I think a good sign of a good book and is an opening line that is shocking or confusing. A line that makes me think, “What the heck are you talking about? Why would you say that?”
Admittedly, some great opening lines aren’t shocking or confusing. Like with The Hobbit. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Congratulations. What’s the big deal? I’ll tell you what the big deal is- It’s poetic. The opening line for one of the greatest adventure, action packed stories of all time, is such a simple statement about the main character. Once upon a time, there was a Hobbit who lived in a ground. After reading about Bilbo’s adventures, and going back to the first page, I can’t help but smile. This Hobbit was so simple, like the first sentence of his story. He was a Hobbit who lived in a hole. By the end of the book, he was so much more.
Ugh. I love opening lines 🙂 This was a great post idea! Thanks for having me ❤