First Line Friday: Ghosts and Witches and Monsters

It’s October, and that means Halloween is coming. So for this  month’s First Line Friday, we’re looking at ghosts and witches and monsters—in science fiction and fantasy books. As always, there are no affiliate links in this collection of first lines. These titles are available on Amazon. They may be available in other places as well.  Ghosts Alexis Kine always knew her luck would eventually run out.  We Dare (Ghost Squadron Book 1) Eric Thomson No one noticed the rock. The Ghost Brigades (Old Man’s War Book 2) John Scalzi Monday is nature’s way of telling you that the only easy day was yesterday. Ghost Dog: Military Science Fiction Across a Holographic Multiverse (Gate Walkers Book 3)  Ashley R Pollard I placed a paper shirt into the furnace. The Girl with Ghost Eyes: The Daoshi Chronicles, Book One M. H. Boroson And Witches Bess ran. The clear night sky and fat moon gave ample illumination for her flight. The Witch’s Daughter: A Novel Paula Brackston There had been no sign of the hunters for three days. The Witches of the Wytewoods M J Thompson I decided that Orion needed to die after the second time he saved my life. A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance Book 1) Naomi Novik […]

How to Write a Great First Line

The first line of a story has a major job—to catch the attention of the reader. The right reader. As a writer it is, arguably, the most important line we write. So how do we write a great first line? The Job of the First Line If the job of the first line of a story is to catch a reader’s attention, then all it has to do is shock or be surprising, right? Well, that may work for some stories and some readers. But it’s not the only way, and it’s not necessarily the right way for the story you write today. The most important job of the first line is to hook the reader, but it’s not the only job of the first line. The best first lines also introduce a writing style, a mood, a theme, and hints at conflict to come. Now, not all of us can write the perfect first line. But we can learn techniques that will give us a great first line. No One Right Way I’ve said it repeatedly. Every writer must find what works for them. The biggest shocker is that one way won’t work for every story written by the […]

First Lines for August

August is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So I thought it fitting that I feature novels set in or about World War II in the First Lines for August post. Based on these first lines alone, would you buy the book? At dusk they pour from the sky.  All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Carla knew her parents were about to have a row. Winter of the World, Ken Follet The man at the end of the long table—he wore a trimmed black beard streaked white at the ends of his mouth—looked up at the wall clock: three minutes past seven. Prologue, From Time to Time, Jack Finney We stood bunched in with the little crowd you can see on the balcony down there at the right—see it?—just over the pillared entrance to the Everett House: Julia and I, her hands in her muff; and our four-year-old son, chin on the balcony rail. Chapter One, From Time to Time, Jack Finney SS-Sturmbannfürer Gunther Dettmer had been dreaming of this day since his childhood.   The Heroes of Sainte-Mère-Église, J.D. Keene Once Harry made a decision, he rarely looked back. Midnight in Broad Daylight: […]