Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Importance of First Lines by Dorothy Dreyer

Sometimes, it’s the cover that grabs you. Other times, it’s the word-of-mouth hype. Or all the raving reviews. But sometimes, all it takes is a killer first line to pull you heart-deep into a story.

I will always remember when I was pitching my first second third manuscript around and entered “First Line” contests all over the internet. There was a line by another writer that really caught my eye. It was Lacey J. Edwards’ first line from (then titled) GREYSKIN. And it went like this: 

There’s a dead girl in the trunk and all I can think about is how white the trees are. 

Creepy, right? Reading that, I urgently wanted to find out more. And I think that’s what books should do: grab you and not let you go. I’m still waiting to read this book. Since discovering that line, I’ve become online friends with Lacey, featured her in an interview on my blog, and celebrated the fact that she got an agent. As soon as that book goes into print, I’m getting it.

As authors, that should be our goal. To make readers crave our stories. It’s years later and I still crave to read that story. That’s definitely something to strive for with my own writing.


  1. Creepy cool - and yes, I love first lines that MAKE me keep reading. Great post!

  2. Creepy cool indeed! You're right, as writers we strive to write a first line that makes people have to read on.