First Lines

I’m working on a project to revise the beginning of a MG book. So when I saw an article on first lines today, I had to read it. It was a good reminder for what I’ve heard at various workshops/conferences:

“Some first lines are so intense and effective that they go down in history as household phrases (“Call me Ishmael,” anyone?)….The moral of the story is that the first line of your novel must be a good one, and it has to knock readers over, including literary agents and book editors. That said, here’s our caution: Don’t overthink it. You shouldn’t need to force an opening line when you’re composing it. Trust those deeper, animal parts of your brain to do the hard work of creating it. If the line you come up with doesn’t feel natural, then it’s probably not the right opening line for your book. So be patient with yourself and know that some writers don’t come up with a good opening line until they’ve written the last line.”

If you’d like to read the entire article and/or vote for your favorite first line go to the link below:

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