In the mind of a Writer

Posts tagged ‘open lines’

Opening Lines


On my journey of editing my suspense/thriller novella (one of three in the Driving Lies Trilogy), I have learned a few things. . . one of these things I that you need a good first line and/or paragraph. You need to pull your readers in. (You don’t need it while writing draft one: draft one is getting the story on paper. However when you edit that is when you correct and tweak to have the detail make sense. That is when you write and rewrite the beginning to pull that reader in.)


I went through my kindle books: I read the beginning of each and out of 65 stories, there were 38 that had at least a C rating. (C rating meant that it at least made me want to read through the page.) Only 13 out of 38 had an A average.


If you make me question what is going (without confusing me), then you have pulled me in. If I want to read more than just first page, then I would really want to read more.

For example, the first line in Anne Rice’s novel The Vampire Armand . . . “They said a child had died in the attic. Her clothes had been discovered in the wall.” I want to know what is going to happen next, and what happened to the child.


I also enjoy when you can describe the setting so well that you make me feel I am there in the story. Raeanne Hadley is very good at pulling me into the setting of her books. “It was one of those spring mornings that made you glad you were alive. The air smelled of efflorescent flowers and blossoming trees, fresh cut grass and barbeque. The temperature was perfect; warm enough that you could have your windows open all day yet not hot enough to have to turn on air conditioning. It was still weeks away from getting so hot that it would melt the deodorant off your armpits. Everyone you passed had a smile and a wave. With all of these beautiful things happening around me, I knew I was going to have a rotten day.”
I love how I feel on those few and perfect days between Spring and Summer.


Hadley, RaeAnne (2012-01-01). Mechanics of Murder (Josephine Lingenfelter series) (Kindle Location 16). Lulu Publishing. Kindle Edition.


Rice, Anne (1998). The Vampire Armand. Ballantine Books.