The first sentence is arguably the most important component of any literary work, be it a short story, an essay, or a novel (or even a blog post!). The opening line gives readers insight into the writer’s voice and style while simultaneously drawing them into the story, piquing their interest and making them wonder what is going on, and, more importantly, what is going to happen next. A good opening line can make a story, just like a bad one can break it; after all, if the first sentence isn’t all that great, how likely are you to keep reading the book? Probably not all that likely.
So what are some of the best opening lines in literature, the ones that send shivers down our spines, get us excited to read? Well, I’ll tell you.
It is the first real rain of the season today, and if you’re anything like me, dear reader, then the only way you can think to spend a rainy Saturday is by curling up on the couch with a cup of hot coffee in your hand, a napping dog at your feet, and a good book in your lap. Or two good books…or four…being decisive has never been one of my strong suits. Continue reading
One of the most common questions asked of writers is “what is your favorite book?” Sometimes this is because we’re just trying to get a good book recommendation for our own shelves, but more often than not this is our not-so-subtle way of trying to figure out where their stories and ideas come from—do Stephen King’s stories stem from a childhood fascination with horror that’s continued into adulthood, or did J. K. Rowling read Dickens’ bildungsromans? What books writers like can say a lot about them, and not always just about why they write about what they write about, but they also allow us a little peak behind the writer mask and give us insight into who they are as human beings. Continue reading