1. Do you consider the first line to be an important part of a story? If so, why?
The first line is extremely important. It sets the scene and gets the reader into the story. Take the first line for Curiosity Killed the Kat, “They say revenge is a dish best served cold; but, I know better.” Immediately it grabs the readers curiosity asking why this person would want revenge and how on earth do they know better? Often, first lines don’t come to me right away. I may get that line in there half way through the story or in some cases after the story is completely finished. First lines are like first impressions; they are everything.
2. Do you find first lines easy to come up with, or challenging? Do you have a technique, or a ritual, that you go by to make it easy?
First lines are not always so easy to come by. Rarely will I have the exact first line nailed in one shot. Often times I will continue writing the story and analyze how the story is developing and go back and rework the first line. I read other stories in all sorts of genres and see if I can emulate great first lines. Basically, I spend a lot of time analyzing first sentences and having it really capture the curiosity of what the overall plot is about.
3. What consequences, if any, do you think there are in having a badly written first line?
I would like to give as much credit to the second line and even the first paragraph as to whether a reader will want to continue on with the story or not. Though I agree the first line whets the appetite and sets the mood, but I think the first paragraph holds greater importance overall.
4. What’s your favourite first line that you’ve ever read? And can you recall a worst?
All this happened, more or less.
—Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five. Can’t recall a worst.
5. What is one of your own best first lines?
I really like the first line for Curiosity Killed the Kat,
They say revenge is a dish best served cold; but, I know better.
I’ve had thousands of horrible first lines. They have since all been deleted.
6. We’re all sharing here! What’s one of your worst first lines?
I’ve had thousands of horrible first lines. They have since all been deleted. Haha.
7. What are some things a first line *shouldn’t* be? What are some things that you’ve read in first lines that really rubs you the wrong way?
I don’t prefer first lines that reveal too much. I want to guess, have my curiosity sparked and want me to read more.
8. Do you have any suggestions for other authors on how to write a great first line? Have you heard any great advice yourself?
Don’t think too hard and let it come from the heart of the story.
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Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – R
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