What makes a reader...read? Is it the lovely cover? The author's name? I will admit to being lured in by a sexy or enigmatic cover...one that pulls at my imagination, tugs at my desire to be lost in that world. And there are certain authors - Christine Feehan, Nora Roberts, Rick Riordan, Kay Hooper - that I will buy without even looking at the blurb of the book.
But what if I don't know them?
The key to dragging me - or any reader - into a story is the opening line.
We all know these:
- Call me Ishmael. ~Moby Dick
- All this happened, more or less. ~Slaughterhouse-Five
- You better not tell nobody but God. ~The Color Purple
- Marley was dead: to begin with. ~A Christmas Carol
- Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. ~Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
But what about these?
- The girl was just plain amazing with a knife. ~Mercy by Julie Garwood
- It crawled along the air that hung heavy as wet wool over the glade. ~Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
- Swirling mist veiled the mountains and crept into the deep forest, stringing layers of white through the snow-laden trees. ~Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan
- "Benjamin." Joan's urgent whisper scarcely made it out of the little black box on his desk. ~Jack's Way
- Joel Raner pushed through the front door of his family’s accounting firm, glancing at his watch. ~Chocolate Dreams
- The ringing of the telephone hit Reese Andrew’s nerves like a tap on a live wire. ~Holding On
Not too bad. But I had a couple others that I wished I had lopped off the first sentence or two and started there...or even rearranged them a smidge to give a more dramatic entrance.
Since I am more of a compact writer, I've made it my goal this year to focus more on the impact of my words. I have purchased a couple new craft books and have pulled open my library to focus on the writers I would like to emulate.
So the question I have...what book do you absolutely love? And what is its first line?