Monday, November 12, 2007
WRITER CHAT: First lines.
Self-published books often have an uphill battle because unless the reader knows your work, they have no outside assurance of its quality. So previews are very important; you should have them and they should be good. Right from the very first line. Here are the first lines from the three self-published works currently on my desktop:
He opened his eyes, and groaned as the pain set in. (What We Do by Ben Adams)
It was a grey overcast most of the day. (The Martinet by Brad Barber)
Hmmm. Yawn. But the book has a nice cover so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt.
I arrived in New York the day before Thanksgiving. (Fuck all by Matthew Damon)
As a first line, not so thrilling. But the book is called 'Fuck All' and the first chapter is called 'Eat Mom's Pussy'--so it's fair to say that the author has already got my attention.
My opinion, for what it is worth, is that first lines should avoid weather, waking up scenes and woo woo (dreams, omens and prophecies). It's not that these things are a deal breaker, but boy am I sick of them...
So, what is your first line like? Does it hold the reader and pull them in?