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Favourite First Lines



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Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:16 am
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TriSARAHtops says...



How you begin your story is often one of the major things that pulls a reader in, gets them invested. We've all read those novels that have a first line that leaves us instantly hooked, whether this be due to shock factor, humour, an image or a tantalising mystery. Reading this, I got thinking about some of my own favourite opening lines, and I'd like to hear yours too!

The top of my list is from Blaze of Glory by Michael Pryor:
Aubrey Fitzwilliam hated being dead. It made things so much harder than they needed to be.


This particular opening line, for me, ticks all the boxes - you get a sense of the voice and character, it has a certain wow factor and it makes you want to know more. There's also a dry sense of humour to it, that instantly appealed to me.

Another favourite of mine is:
The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.

This one's from Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and while also being some unique imagery, it's the kind of bizarre statement that gets you attention.

Good things come in threes, so I'll add a third one that I love. This one's from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater:
It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.

This one's darker than the other two, and it really sets a mood for the story. Like the others, you also get the feel for the voice, and it draws you in.

Now tell me yours!
if we wait until we're ready
we'll be waiting
for the rest of our lives
  





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Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:53 am
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Monsters says...



Not really a line but a sentence-

IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
  





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Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:10 am
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Mea says...



You stole the cat vomit line! That's what I was going to say! :P
We're all stories in the end.

I think of you as a fairy with a green dress and a flower crown and stuff.
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Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:44 am
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TriSARAHtops says...



@meandbooks It's a pretty epic first line, what can I say?
if we wait until we're ready
we'll be waiting
for the rest of our lives
  





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Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:53 pm
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birk says...



From Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series:

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
"I never saved anything for the swim back."


Do not mistake coincidence for fate. - Mr Eko

they're selling razor blades and mirrors in the street
  





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Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:10 pm
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Sherri says...



My favorite first line... um, maybe the first line from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman?
"I remember being born. In fact, I remember a time before that."
I was immediately sucked in, and couldn't stop reading! :) It was very captivating and interesting that way.
Probably one of the most memorable book openings I can think of... mostly because my memory isn't the best, but hey. :D
* Hey, just in case this pit isn't actually bottomless, do you think maybe you could unstrap one of those long-fall boots of yours and shove me into it? Just remember to land on one foot... *
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Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:24 am
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Willard says...



This first line is from The Stranger by Albert Camus

Mother died today.


It captures the whole book perfectly, plus it makes me laugh.

"Words say little to the mind compared to space thundering with images and crammed with sounds."

stranger, strangelove, drstrangelove, strange, willard
  





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Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:09 am
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StellaThomas says...



I actually despised that cat vomit line xD it's like the author is trying to be smart but it isn't actually descriptive at all - I mean, what colour is cat vomit?

One of my favourite first lines was from The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: "She was born Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, and she did not open her eyes for three days." It's a fairytale retelling and the first line sets the tone perfectly for that.
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010
  





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Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:23 am
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Snoink says...



"It was a dark and stormy night." From A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I'm pretty sure she just had to use that awful line and turn it into an awesome story. XD
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:42 am
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Apricity says...



I want to echo @Strange's first line, since Camus is amazing. Not to mention The Stranger is also a stunning work. Unfortunately, Vonnegut takes the cake for this one.

From Slaughterhouse-Five:

Image
Previously Flite

'And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.' ― Friedrich Nietzsche

~Open for business~
  





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Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:31 am
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StellaThomas says...



@Flite - excellent choice.
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010
  





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Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:19 pm
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Firestarter says...



My favourite first line is from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.


A character is about to be killed, so he's remembering when he discovered ice? And who needs to discover ice? There's something enchanting about this first line in the way it establishes the world (ice needs discovering), the character (he's about to be shot and he reverts to nostalgia), and conflict (someone being shot) in such a succinct and beautiful way.

It also helps that it's pretty much the most wonderfully written book in the world.
Nate wrote:And if YWS ever does become a company, Jack will be the President of European Operations. In fact, I'm just going to call him that anyways.
  





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Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:46 pm
BellaRoma says...



"I wasn't thinking about the man who'd blown himself up."

This is from Deja Dead, by Kathy Reichs. It does kind of summarise her style of writing.
You cannot train yourself to notice,
To feel pain, and swallow fear
  





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Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:22 pm
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GoldFlame says...



This one really struck me from The Virgin Suicides:

On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.


Just ... creepiness.
“He leant tensely against the wall and frowned like a man trying to unbend a corkscrew by telekinesis.” – Douglas Adams
  








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