Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Favorite First Lines, Plus a Giveaway by Cherie Colyer

I’m a picky reader. I really am. So for me, first lines are important. A great first line makes me want to follow a character as she makes her journey into the unknown. This has been true since I was a little girl, so I thought I’d start this post with a childhood favorite of mine: 

 "Where's Daddy going with that ax?" Fern asks.

From the very first line of E.B. White’s novel, Charlotte’s Web, I was invested. I wanted to know where Daddy was going just as much as Fern did.

Another favorite from a children’s novel comes from Lemony Snicket’s, A Series of Unfortunate Events:

If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.” 

I thought Daniel Handler (the author’s real name) was clever. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do the opposite of what they’ve just been told? Or is that just me??

And I can’t forget two of my favorite first lines from young adult novels. This first one if from Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. 

I’d never given much thought to how I would die.\

That’s all it took for me to want to read on.

Then from my favorite Melissa Marr novel, Wicked Lovely…

The Summer King knelt before her. “Is this what you freely choose, to risk winter’s chill?” 

I loved this modern day twist to the story of the Snow Queen, and Melissa Marr did a wonderful job setting up what’s to come on the first page. If you haven’t read this one, I highly recommend it.

In my own writing, I try to craft intriguing first lines that spark readers’ interest and that makes them want to follow my characters through whatever adventure awaits them.

This first one is from my debut novel, Embrace.

I should have cared what I wore, but I couldn’t quite get there. I didn’t see any point in dressing up just to get knocked down. 

Once I nailed down where Embrace should start, the opening pretty much stayed the same, but that doesn’t always happen.

In my newest novel, Challenging Destiny, I went back and forth on the opening, trying to decide if I should start with a scene from the past or start in the present. After much debate—and me cutting and re-inserting the prologue at least a dozen times, I decided starting with a snippet of the past was the right way to go. 

He stood before me. Regal. Proud. No hint of the demon I knew him to be. I knelt on the cold ground behind the blacksmith’s shop. Not out of respect, but because my trembling legs would no longer hold my weight. 

Okay, I cheated on that last one by including the first paragraph.

For a limit time, you can download Challenging Destiny free on Kindle, plus enter to win a gift card or eCody of Embrace.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite first lines?

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