Friday, March 16, 2012

Flicker of Inspiration Prompt #42: Killer First Line

The first line. It's your hook, your one chance to make a great first impression on your reader. It can be the deciding factor on whether or not someone keeps reading. It's important, sometimes painfully so.

I don't know about y'all, but I struggle with my first lines. I labor over them, worrying over word placement and attention-grabbing phrases. I want to make sure that my first line not only properly introduces my story but also properly introduces me as a writer. Yep, it's important. The masters can probably say it best though. Take a look at these famous first lines and tell me you don't want to read on...

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” — 1984 – George Orwell 

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic vermin.” — Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka 

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” — Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

This week we want you bowl us over with a killer first line. Hook us into your story. Do something unexpected, something surprising, something strange. Just make sure that we want to keep reading.

You can do what you want after the first line, but we're only going to give you five additional sentences to support that line and really sell your tale. Give us a killer first line and a solid first paragraph and come back Sunday to link up.