The Horrible Importance of Beginnings

After years as an avid reader, I'm on working my first mystery. This blog is the chronicle of that journey and I hope it'll be an encouragement to me and to you.

The opening of a novel is weighed down with so much freight it's amazing that so many ever get off the ground. In order to make my beginning as good as it can be, I'm participating in Mia Marlowe's Red Pencil Thursday. It's an online critique group and I hope I'll get some constructive suggestions for my WIP. If you'd like to join me as I take my bath in public (Mia's description of the process!) please pop over to tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've been thinking about what makes a good opening line. It needs to make the reader do a double-take, laugh, or question what comes next. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites:

  • The boys came early to the hanging.
  • It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
  • To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.
  • There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubbs, and he almost deserved it.
I could go on and you probably have thought of some that speak to you. Can you match the openers to the books? What opening line sticks with you?

I'll be back with the correct answers and a new post next Wednesday. I'd love to hear from YOU before then.