I know many of us are super busy with NaNoWriMo, the upcoming holidays, the CoG contest, so I thought I’d keep this Craft entry easy!
How much do we think about first lines? Well, after attending a writers’ conference and after listening to a gazillion writing podcasts, I’ve come to conclude that I should probably think more about my first line of CCH2 (and all other things I write).
How do you pull the reader in?
How do you write a line that DARES them to put that book down?
How do you cram in conflict, explicit or implied, in just one line?
Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book: “There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”
Ken Follett’s The Key to Rebecca: “The last camel collapsed at noon.”
Those authors are DARING you to put that book down. I mean, in both situations your mind is already racing with possibilities.
So now I look at the first line (for now) for Community College Hero Part 2:
“Crook points to a pair of gang members staggering from a dive bar below.”
So I analyzed it, and I think it’s not horrible. It does cram in a lot of info.
- You’re with Crook
- Gang members, perhaps dangerous, are close by!
- They are staggering from a bar, so probably drunk
- and they are “below,” which implies we are up high somewhere
So again, not horrible. But I don’t think it grabs readers like the above examples. So I’m considering if I can rewrite the first line to make it more gripping. I’ll post on here later this week if I create what I think is a stronger first line.
Comment below with the first line of your WiP or a story you’ve already written! Analyze the first line; what does it accomplish? What tone does it set? Does it dare the reader to put down the story?
Would you re-write the first line if you have the chance or are you happy with it?
Comment with an example of an AWESOME first line from a novel, comic book, etc that you think should be shared.
Have you come across an AWESOME first line in a CoG or HG that you’d like to share? Post it!