Monday, February 16, 2009

That First Sentence

This trigger happy cat has nothing on me today.

This one is for the writers out there. Today I started a Fast Draft with the goal of writing one chapter a day for the next two weeks. For the first time I decided to plot the book out before I sat down to write it. I have my notes for chapter one in front of me, and I have a scene worksheet that describes my intended setting, characters and goals for the scene. With everything organized, and my cup of coffee by my side, I opened up Microsoft Word to begin the first chapter.

It took me ten minutes to come up with my opening line - and I'm still not sure I'm in love with it. When I pick up a book I'm always drawn to those awesome first lines that really grab me. I think MaryJanice Davidson had a first line that went something like this - "The day I died started off bad and only got worse from there."

How can you not love that first line? It raises all kinds of questions and it's funny as well. Mine? Not so much. But I'm attempting to write a chapter a day so I can't exactly sit here and play with one line for the rest of the day. So I moved on.

My question is, what kind of first line attracts you? If the first scene doesn't grab your attention how long will you keep reading before you decide the book is not for you? Do you remember a first line that hooked you right then and there?

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