Monday, January 26, 2015

First lines...

When I was in the middle of writing my first book, Operation: Endgame, I attended a reader/writer conference and in one of the roundtable discussions, they got to talking about what hooks you to read a book. There was a person there who said she chooses her books on the first line.


OMG, I swear I was hyperventilating from then on out at that forum. Talk about pressure to get it right, immediately.

Well, that came to mind this morning as I sat here in front of my computer (ahem...procrastinating) with my WIP, Snowcroft Safehouse, open on the first page.

My first line...(right now...because this book is nowhere close to done yet) and it occurred to me that this may not be the first best line.
“Four more hours and we’ll be out of fucking Jersey.” 

Because let's face it...if you are a fan of New Jersey (and I am...I lived there for 4 years and loved it), that's kind of offensive. BUT it has nothing to do with the state and so much to do with the circumstances that the characters are dealing with.

So, I kind of thought it might be fun to have a discussion about first lines in books.

First, do you put a lot of emphasis on a good first line? And if so, share the first line out from one of your favorite books with us.

And just for fun, here are all the other first lines from my other books...
Jake could feel the bark of the limb cutting into his palm, but he refused to give away his position by changing the way he clung there.

Ten year old Colton stumbled down the hall of the chapel and worked to keep a tight rein over his emotions. 

Lights flashed through the darkened night as another rugged, sexy fireman rushed across Julie's yard in front of her townhouse.

Julie panicked as the rough hand ripped the thin fabric of her bikini top.

"Detective, are you okay?"

Mudflap Davidson gazed at the wall of fire in front of him, focusing the spray of the water at the base of the curls of orange, yellow, and blue flames.

"I think it's time to move away from Snowcroft."

"Ms. Renshaw, there's a Detective Rob Morris from the ESIA here to see you."

"Molly, what am I doing here?"

How the hell could she be in the suburbs of Seattle without a single coffee shop in sight?

So, sound off...what do you think about first lines? I'll be honest, I thought I was pretty good at having decent hooks, but looking at these, I'm not so sure. Hmm, maybe I need to do a post with the other first lines from my WIP's and let you all see what you think.... 


  1. I love the first line of Snowcroft Safehouse! I'd definitely read.

  2. I don't judge a book based on one line. The cover usually hooks me, and then I will read the first chapter before deciding if it's worth reading. I like the first line of Snowcroft Safehouse!