First Impressions

Fairytale1First impressions are everything, especially in a book. It is important to grab the reader’s attention right away, so they don’t close the book and move on to another. The first line, or lines, of your book should be memorable and make the reader want more. Use the below first lines from some famous books as inspiration.

“Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women.” —Charles Johnson, Middle Passage

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” —L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between

 “If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog.” —Saul Bellow, Herzog

“On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.” —Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” —Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“‘To be born again,’ sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, ‘first you have to die.’” —Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

“The moment one learns English, complications set in.” —Felipe Alfau, Chromos

These are just a few examples of great first lines. They make the reader want to discover what happens next. Figure out what will work for your book to help draw the reader in and make a good first impression.

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