Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grab 'Em and Don't Let Go! ♦♦

We all know we need to start our stories with a hook, something that’ll draw the reader in right away and keep him or her riveted to the page. There are some great ones out there, and I’d love you to tell me your favorite opening lines in the Comments section.

A recent intriguing opening line I read is from an upcoming new release by E.F. Watkins entitled One Blood. Does this make you wonder at all: Without meaning to, Camilla Torres had picked a good place to die.

What’s the best way – open with dialogue? That can be an attention grabber for sure, depending on how provocative or intriguing those words are! Open with a fast-moving action scene? It definitely gets your readers’ adrenaline pumping. Open with a description that pulls your reader into the atmosphere of the story? That can be very effective.

But the reader feels let down if a great hook degenerates into a mediocre narrative. Therefore, it’s our job as authors to keep that energy of a great first line moving. You must engage your reader and don’t let that oomph stop. Keep the reader’s interest piqued and the story and characters moving forward at a consistent clip. Of course, there have to be moments where everyone catches his or her breath, but the reader is counting on you to deliver from that great opening line…right through to the final syllable.

So, tell me in the Comments section as well – what is your favorite closing line?

Libby McKinmer
Romance with an edge
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A. K. said...

Generally I read books related to music (Rock) and bio. The most interesting opening line I have ever came across was like this 'We are a Tribe'

Mark Troy said...

My favorite closing line is from Mickey Spillane's I, the Jury. "I had to speak quickly, because I was talking to a corpse."

Libby McKinmer said...

Oh, these are both good -- makes me want to know more about both books! And that's the job of a good writer.



Mike Dennis said...

I have two favorite opening lines:

It had been a pretty good day in many ways, so I might have known it would turn out bad.
--THE CRIMINAL / Jim Thompson

Across the bar, a lean blond with a missing front tooth is massaging my tits with his eyes, and I get an idea.
--VOLUNTARY MADNESS / Vicki Hendricks

Mark W. Danielson said...

If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write.


Libby McKinmer said...

You guys are great!!! We should print out some of these to jump start those days the blank page stares back from our monitors.