Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Sentences

As writers we are constantly trying to hook our readers and make them keep reading. We want them to read that first chapter and decide right then and there that they can't put the book down. However, it doesn't just start with the first chapter, or paragraph. It's that very first line.

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Seriously, I read agents blogs all the time and know they decide extremely quick if the book is worth reading more of or not. So, we need to hook them instantly, within that very first sentence.

This was something I had not pondered too much until I read this post by Jodi Meadows over on WriteOnCon last year. After that I revisited my WIPs only to realize my first lines were duds. Serious duds. I'm currently working on them, and maybe I will share them with you at a later date - when they don't stink so much.

All of this first line thinking had me pondering the first lines from currently HOT books. I thought I would share a few with you today. I haven't read all of them yet, but can you guess why they have taken up residence on my Kindle?

"The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle."
Cinder by Marissa Meyer 

"They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod 'the Death Shop.'"  
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 

"The moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she'd be unemployed before the sun rose."  
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross 

"'You don't want to kill me,' I said."  
Clarity by Kim Harrington 

"I've been locked up for 264 days."  
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

"There is one mirror in my house."  
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Your Turn -> Tell us your favorite first line.


  1. Since it's so early, I can't think of favorites, but those above are good ones!

  2. The whole first paragraph from CINDER really drew my attention. I loved the focus on the small detail of the bolt. It instantly made the scene come alive.

    Great book. I highly recommend it. You've got a lot of other good ones on that list too.