First lines. The ever-so-important first peek at a world, a character, a story that can never be redone or relived. First lines and first impressions are the brothers and sisters of the meet and greet world. Kin to the opening chords of a song. A well-written first line gives you a feel for what’s to come and sets up everything that is to come.
Which is why I’m stuck.
I know plenty of people who can rip those first lines off and think nothing of it, moving on before the ink is dry. Sometimes they fit and are perfect for the story. Sometimes they don’t, and they come back to correct it in later. They are probably the same people who can come up with fitting names right off the bat. I’m so jealous of them for that.
It isn’t that easy for me. I sit and struggle with these things. Until I can figure that out, then the story is a no go. But then, I kind of spend an overabundance of time working on it. I want to give you the idea of the master craftsman at work, but then, I’m no master craftsman.
In my time, I like to think that I’ve come up with some solid opening lines. The Red Dress (SPOILER) starts out with the line:
“Some people collect baseball cards; I collect people.”
Not some of my best work, but I feel it’s solid. And all any of us can ask for is solid. Greatness will come with time and effort, but on a day-in, day-out basis, I will take solid.
I know the start to my current work will come soon. It’s a knot that’s starting to give up it’s secrets. The real question is to figure out where it will go from there. 🙂
What problems have any of you had with your first lines? What are some of your favorite ones?