Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RTW: First Lines

Reading Song of the Day: "The Catalyst" by Linkin Park

It's that time again, time to go traveling with our YA Highway sistahs :) This Road Trip Wednesday focuses on the first line of books. They want to know, what are some or our favorite first lines? The ladies even go so far as to let us show off our own snappy, witty, wonderful first words!!!

We shall start with the best (or maybe we just want to get it out of the way before you read the really great first lines from published authors)--the first lines of our own manuscripts. For Pam's manuscript Wants, her first line is:

"It's not that I'm ugly or anything ."

Brilliant! But she may be changing it.

Quita's first line for the manuscript In Limbo is:

"I'm in hell."

Engaging- but probably could use a little something more.

Finally, on to the wonderful works of fiction that we wish we could gobble up. Some of our favorite first lines are:

"When I was little, my dad used to tell me, 'Will, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose.'"
-Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Greene and David Levithan

"Imagine four years. Four years, two suicides, one death, one rape, two pregnancies (one abortion), three overdoses, countless drunken antics, pantsings...But everything you do here counts. High School."
-Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
"They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that's not how it happened for me."
-Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

"I was born with a light covering of fur. After three days it had all fallen off, but the damage was done."

-Liar by Justine Larbalestier

"So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in coffee She tells me in four sentences. No, five."
-Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonSo what are some of your fav first lines? And feel free to share the first line of your WIPs or manuscripts as well.


Karla Nellenbach said...

I just started BEFORE I FALL and love that first sentence...also quoted WINTERGIRLS in my own post :)

Racquel Henry said...

Can I just say, Pam, Please Don't change your first sentence! I love it. And Quita, that first sentence definitely makes people want to keep reading, I would know ;) I really like the first line of that book Cracked Up, and I've been meaning to read it too.

Pam, to answer your question, I will be attending a conference, and yes we will have to exchange notes. I'm having trouble deciding which workshops I want to attend. They all sound so good!

Quita, I mailed the book yesterday. You should get it soon! :)

Abby Stevens said...

Oooh, I wanted the first line to the flu pandemic WIP! I love how your opening lines are short and sudden.

Kristin Miller said...

Your lines are great! And I love that line from CUTB.

KT said...

Ooh I like the "I'm in hell" one. It's so simple, but I would continue to read to hear the character's voice. And I've been wanting to read WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, and that line is so cool and classic :)

Rebecca B said...

I love the lines from WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON and BEFORE I FALL, too!

Melanie said...

Sadly, my book doesn't have an amazing, engaging first line, but here it is:

Should I play it?

And my favorite published first line is easy. Now, I had to actually google to see what it was because I don't actually own the book. But this was probably the only book that literally had me enthralled from the first page through the last one: Interview With the Vampire.

“I see…” said the vampire thoughtfully, and slowly he walked across the room towards the window.

Nice job Ann Rice... no BS, straight to the point. The vampire is acknowledged in the first sentence. Seeing that again makes me want to read it again!

Kirsten said...

Hm, that Wintergirls line is intense. "Commas dunked in coffee" definitely made me sit up. Great picks!

Kaitlin Ward said...

Love the first sentences of both of your WIPs--confidence, ladies :P

Jess said...

Great opening lines, ladies! I seriously love them both. It's interesting how different they are, too.

Michelle Schusterman said...

You picked some fantastic first lines!!! I totally forgot about the Wintergirls one - so awesome. And I agree with Kaitlin - confidence! Your first lines are great!