First Lines

“First lines are so important. I mean, I put pen to paper and whole worlds come alive. But if that first line isn’t everything it can be, then who’s going to want to live in your world?”


4 thoughts on “First Lines

  1. I’ve never judged a book or story by the first line. Of course, it shouldn’t suck, but I think people hold way too much weight and obsess too much over that first line. As a reader, I don’t make up my mind for at least a few paragraphs, maybe a chapter or two, depending on the story. Of course, if it’s first-person, I stop at the first line because I can’t stand that POV. Subject matter stops me before I even start. First line? Not at all. There’s not enough information in one sentence to judge 50-100K words or more, in my opinion.

    1. I disagree. The first line is the first overture of a story and should set the scene for everything that is to come. Look back at some of your favorite books and think about their opening lines. I know there are some opening lines that I’m very fond of. I’m not saying I’ve stopped reading a book because of a lackluster first line, but it isn’t a good sign of things to come.

    2. I’m really interested in what you said about stopping at first person, what is it exactly you don’t like about that POV?

      And yeah, I wouldn’t stop reading after a shoddy first line I always give a book a chapter or two, I’ve even completely read books that I’ve not particularly enjoyed just for the sake of finishing them haha.

      Thanks for your contribution!

      1. I hate the limited view from first-person and I also hate the constant I, me and we words. That stuff pulls me right out of the story every time.

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