While every great novel I've read hasn't had a memorable first line, fabulous first lines tend to stick with me. And more than once, I've purchased a book based on a reel-me-in first line or paragraph.
Here are just a few favorite openings:
“As an interactive horror experience, with beasts from Hell, mayhem, gore, and dismemberment, it was an impressive event. As a high school prom, however, the evening was marginally less successful.” – Prom Dates from Hell, Rosemary Clement-Moore
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
“I am old now and have not much to fear from the anger of gods.” – Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
“Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal.” – Red-Headed Stepchild, Jaye Wells
"Trevor Dunham talked quite a bit about his man part just before he drowned." – The Lifeboat Clique, Kathy Parks
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." – Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
But today, we invite you to share the opening lines of your current WIP (work-in-progress) or recently finished novel in the comments! Or share a favorite from someone else. Give us the title and genre, then your opening lines. Feel free to comment on others' as well!
We'll get you started.
The Six-Percent Baby, a memoir
My dreams died on a sunny April afternoon. There would be no baby for me. Not from this body.
Book 2 in the Rx for Love series (Thea's story)
If she didn’t have sex this year, her girly bits were gonna stage a revolt. Thea Armstrong stared at the magazine in her hands, contemplating her love life.
When did I last have sex? Oh hell. When did I last go on a date?
Definitely not this year. Her BFF almost died this year. Last year, she’d raced to finish her degree. The year before was speed dating. What a bleeding disaster.
She did a frantic mental count.
Six years? Six years since she’d kicked Mr. Oh-so-wrong Keith out of her life. Almost seven years since she’d been with a man.
Holy smokes, I’m practically re-virginized.
Fire on Roof, a speculative fiction book
What had seemed like an exceptional decision a year ago, now reeked like month-old garbage in the settlement’s incinerator hole.
Compromising Harmony, a Keep sphere book
“Behold—the unwilling virgin.” The sputtered words escaped from between Harmony MEcar’s clenched teeth. Flipping up the farview lens of her tactical helmet, she watched her laughing target emerge from the pool.
Untitled contemporary romance
The universe could not have found a worse match for her.
Prepare to Meet Your Undertaker, cozy mystery
When someone asks me to arrange a Viking funeral for them, I deliver.
You can’t just toss a corpse in a boat and light it on fire anywhere. It takes event planning, coordination with legal authorities, and knowledge of the proper disposal of dead bodies.
Thankfully, I’m an expert at making dream funerals come true.
My fave of my own work will always be The Sweet Spot:
The grief counselor told the group to be grateful for what they had left. After lots of considering, Charla Rae decided she was grateful for the bull semen.
The Road to Me, women's fiction
I was born to be a hippie. I resisted. - Jacqueline Oliver
As-yet untitled western romance
“Hon, we’ve talked about this. I can’t ride bulls forever. Why not go out on top?”
When Lacey’s brow furrows, I know the jig is up. She doesn’t expend a wrinkle for minor irritations.
Share your opening lines—or a favorite from another author below!