Wednesday, September 12, 2012


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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Lynn Cahoon said...

Closing lines, I don't really remember, but I remember the feeling books leave me with. Like the end of King's The Stand - hopeful, but wary.

Libby McKinmer said...

Yes...the feeling a book leaves you with can really last! Thanks, Lynn!

Steven J. Wangsness said...

Yes. (Ulysses)

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

This is the 4th time I've tried to leave a comment. The post was great. I don't remember last lines, only how the ending left me feeling--wanting more, satisfied, and a few time, not so happy.