Friday, October 16, 2015

O is for Opening Lines

Margaret loves first sentences/paragraphs in novels, especially the ones that grab you straight away and make you want to read on. Admittedly I don’t always manage to get the impact I want, but it’s one of the things I look for when choosing a book.

 For interest below are a few of my own opening lines:

 “Theo Tsardikos? You expect me to go and beg him for money?” Dione stared at her father disbelievingly.
(Bought for Marriage)
“I can’t go to a party!” declared Keisha firmly, glaring at her friend. “I have nothing to wear. Nor do I have any money. And I’m about to be thrown out of my house. Why are you asking me?”
(Bedded At His Convenience)

 From the first moment Penny looked into Santo De Luca’s eyes she knew she was in trouble.
(The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain)

“You’re expecting me to marry Vidal Marquez?”
(The Twelve Month Marriage Deal)
“That man is impossible! He’s not only impossible, he’s an arrogant swine, and I don’t know why I stick it here.”
(Stormy Relationship)

Briony could not believe her eyes when the man pushed rudely passed her and marched straight into the house.
(Ruthless Stranger)

The sound of screeching tyres and crunching metal still rang in the air. Blythe had seen no more than a blur of red before her car was slammed against the old stone gate post. She wasn’t hurt, just shaken up and furiously angry.

How about you? Is this something that decides whether you buy a certain book, or perhaps it’s something else? Something more?


  1. All these are great openings, Margaret! I can't even decide which is my favourite because they're all great hooks to grab the reader.

  2. Thanks, Paula. It's so important to grab your reader early, isn't it?

  3. wow, fantastic opening lines. Good first lines are essential to hook, but I'll read a page or two before deciding.

    1. I agree it's sometimes wise to read more. But that initial grab is all important.

    2. I agree with Ana here, because I actually think too much emphasis is put on first lines. They may help to draw a reader into the story, but as Ana said, the first couple of pages provide the real hook.

  4. Great first lines! If a first line hooks me, I usually end up reading the book.

    1. I think that is the aim of all authors, Joanne. I guess that sometimes we get it right sometimes we don't. It all depends on the person who reads the book.

  5. I was glad to see you had a mix of narrative and dialogue for your opening lines. I use both, too, but I know some people frown upon opening with dialogue. To me, it puts you right in the middle of something.

    1. Absolutely. I use it often and I like it when other writers do too.