First Lines (Revisited)

Hey everyone,

I was looking through some old blog posts over the weekend (like the ones from two years ago) and I realized that some of them might be worth revisiting. So in the next few months I may be recycling a few favorites. Keep in mind that when this blog was in its early days, it was targeted at young/ beginner writers. However, the information still applies to writers of any age or ability.

FIRST LINES was originally posted in November 2103 but for today’s post I added a few more first line favorites…

The first line can tell a lot about a story. It can tell whether it will be creepy, or serious, or funny. It can tell you if the story is set in our world or in an imaginary world. It can tell you if it’s going to be told by a narrator or by the main character. Most of all though, it can tell you whether or not you’re going to like the story!

Take a look at some of my favorite first lines in children’s books today…

If you are interested in stories with happy endings you would be better off reading some other book. (A Series of Unfortunate Events- The Bad Beginning)

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. (Harry Potter and the Scorcerer’s Stone)

Not every 13 year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. (The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle)

There isn’t one mirror in my house. (Divergent)

There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife. (The Graveyard Book)

How five crows managed to lift a twenty-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries. (Wildwood)

Sophie had waited all her life to be kidnapped. (The School  for Good and Evil)

It certainly seemed like it was going to be another normal evening at Amelia Bedelia’s House. (Amelia Bedelia- Unleashed)

Sometimes there’s no warning. (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness- Oath Breaker)

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. (The Hunger Games)

It was fun at first, playing house. (Love, Aubrey)

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog. (Because of Winn- Dixie)

Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. (Al Capone Does my Shirts)

I never told the boys I saw their daddy leave that night. (The Swift Boys and Me)

Gladys Gatsby stood at the counter with the spout of her father’s heavy blowtorch poised over the ceramic cup. (All Four Stars)

In a city called Stonetown, near a port called Stonetown Harbor, a boy named Reynie Muldoon was preparing to take an important test. (The Mysterious Benedict Society)

All I had to do was walk up to the coffin. (The Secret Hum of a Daisy)

See what I mean? A great first line can help you decide whether or not to read on.  So when you’re writing your own story, do your best to create an amazing first line. Something that will make your reader turn the page. Something that will stay with your reader long after the story’s done.

So what do you think of these first lines? Which one do you think is best?  Do you know of a line that should be included on this list? If you do, leave a comment. I’m always up for another favorite!

Well there you have it…

Have a great week, my friends! Hope it’s filled with all the amazing words. 🙂

2 thoughts on “First Lines (Revisited)”

  1. Hi Jackie,

    Some great lines in your list. I’ll nominate a few more.

    “Mrs. McMartin was definitely dead.” (The Books of Elsewhere – The Shadows)

    “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” (Chronicles of Narnia – Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

    “It was the summer that Rosemary Bliss turned ten that she saw her mother fold a lightning bolt into a bowl of batter.” (The Bliss Bakery)


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