Can You Match the Bestseller to its First Line?

It’s First Lines Friday, but let’s have fun with this one. It’s a mix-and-match game. Get a pencil and paper. Below you’ll find a list of first lines from dystopian ya books on Amazon’s bestseller list. You’ll also find a list of author names and a list of titles. Match the bestseller with its first line and author. No cheating!  Ready? Set. Go! First Lines If you think you know which book the line is from, scroll down and match the bestseller to the first line. Write your answers down in the order of LINE (single letter)-TITLE (double letter)-AUTHOR (number). A “When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic.” B “The blizzard brought with it driving winds, but Farmer-883-PR8 wasn’t giving up.” C “Raine Caldwell was startled by the slamming of a car door.” D “Coriolanus released the fistful of cabbage into the pot of boiling water and swore that one day it would never pass his lips again.” E “The asteroid that will destroy the earth is named Pandora.” F “Don’t touch me! I want Nova! Where’s Nova?” G “When you have something to hide, it feels like everyone is looking at you.” H “There […]

Do You Know Why These First Lines Work?

Last week I posted a list of first lines and asked if you’d buy the books based on those first sentences. The first words and paragraphs of a story can bring the story to life or let bring it down. Do you know why these first lines work? Or don’t? Whether you’re a reader or a writer, it’s helpful to know when the first sentences are successful. Rapture in Death-does it work?  The alley was dark and stank of piss and vomit. It was home for quick-footed rats and the bony, hungry-eyed felines who hunted them. J.D. Robb, Rapture in Death Oh, boy, does it work! It engages your senses and makes you feel something. Maybe you recoil a bit. Or you feel a little squeamish about the smell or those quick-footed rats. The bony, hungry-eyed felines evokes a specific picture. Your imagination puts you in that alley because of those words. The words give you a feel for who the narrator is. The word piss and vomit. Not pee or urine, but piss. Not emesis or throw up, but vomit.  Each word works on at least two levels. And it sets up a question in the reader’s mind. Who […]