Who doesn’t love a great opening line? If you’re looking for an awesome opening line to adopt, check out this topic on the NaNoWriMo forums. Even if you’re not looking for an opening line, but just a way to open a chapter or find some inspiration, you’re bound to find it there.
That topic got me thinking. I don’t always use the most original of opening lines. Have a look at the opening lines of my manuscripts and works-in-progress:
Ghostslayer: The house looms at us, tentative, threatening and dangerous.
The Sleeping Kingdom: I feel like an idiot, jumping up and down to reach the Sizzling Strawberries hanging from the large Strawberry Tree.
Soul Thief: The world explodes in a chaos of fire, pain and terror.
The Vault: “Evelyn Pierce, professional ghost hunter” is what it says on my calling card.
Echo of Life: My name is Echo, and I’m the last person ever born on this earth.
Beyond The Mirror: She had died and gone to hell. That was the only logical explanation as to why a four-legged, three-headed monster, engulfed in flames, and easily five times her size, was chasing her.
I know the last one is technically two sentences, but I couldn’t resist. It’s my personal favorite. Which one of these is your favorite? Which ones would make you want to read on?
And these are some opening lines from some of my random scribbles (which is never got beyond 1,000 words).
The girl’s body is already cold.
The girl opened her eyes and stared at the pitch-black, starless sky.
She awoke to an unnatural, abnormal sound. Then the swift sound of the nightly wind beating against an open window alarmed her, and she sat up straight in bed.
There’s always a catch. Every self-respecting vampire with a history that can be tracked down till the mid-1700s should know that.
The darkness was vast, immense and overwhelming. It was the kind of pitch-black darkness you only meet in windowless dungeons or Dwarven tunnels deep below the earth’s surface. The kind of darkness that is both mesmerizing and threatening.
I noticed that most of my opening lines either have to do with a girl opening her eyes/waking up, the end of the world of darkness. Talk about being cliché. But clichés are there for a reason.
Oh, and for your entertainment, I compiled a list of my personal favorites from the adopt topic on NaNoWriMo.
The sea was filled with angry monkeys, but we are not at the sea so this does not really matter.
There are few things in life that cannot be missed, and this, unfortunately, was one of them.
I never expected to wake up dead this morning.
It was midnight, and the momentous thing we were all waiting for turned out out to be nothing more than some old wigs and some remarkably fresh pizza.
Looking back, [MC] should probably have been a little pickier about who to bring along on this quest.
It was pretty, [MC] had to give it that, all sparkly and glittery but on the other hand, it did have a horrible tendency to pop up in every world destruction prophecy known to man.
All things considered, it could have ended worse, if people ignored the part where [MC] was bleeding to death.
This was hardly the time to laugh, but death just made her so uncomfortable.
If it hadn’t been for that damn cat, none of this would have happened.
“This is going to get us all killed, isn’t it?”
“You know, there’s some pretty stiff competition for the title, but I think this might just be The Dumbest Idea You’ve Ever Had.”
“They say everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives; I say you haven’t truly died either until you’ve done it three or four times.”
“That was the best party ever,” he said, while wringing the blood from his shirt.
My family was the worst company I could ever imagine; they’ve tried to kill me since I was born.
I hope this gave you some inspiration – it certainly gave me inspiration!