While traveling the blogiverse lately, we've noticed that a lot of our fellow writers are offering up their blogs as a forum for critiquing and helping out our writing brethren. We would like to join in this fun and open up our blog as yet another place to give and receive feedback.
So, how do you write engaging first lines?
There are several theories out there about this. Some think you should shock your readers to make them read more. I hope the shock value works b/c in my WIP, The Blues (working title) this is how the novel starts:
Henry Knight was found bludgeoned to death early this morning.
Others think you should write a declarative sentence to start off the pacing of your novel: He was an old and cranky man.
OR you can give some description to let the reader know exactly where they are: It was a dark and stormy night with gray skies and tortured leaves whirling around the red brick two story house. (Yes, this sentence is awful)
One of the other effective methods is to ask a question: How do you get over your first true love?
Check out this article for more on the topic of first lines. Here is another one to help you out. Also, our buddy Erinn at Something Else to Distract Me had a cool first lines contest a while back that offered some good info on this topic. Check it out here. Lindsay N. Currie also offers up some info on the topic of first lines here. There's a pic of Tom Cruise in his undies--just a lil' more inspiration for you to go and read it :D
Which of these does your WIP have if any???
Now for the real reason behind this post...we want to have a critiquing day! We would love for you all (our devoted stalkers, er...followers) to participate by sending us your first lines. We will post the lines (it can be anonymously if you'd like) NEXT MONDAY, March 14th, 2011 and in the comments your fellow writers (who are quite nice and supportive) will leave critiques stating whether the first lines are effective or not and what you can do to revise them.
SOOO...if you want in (and we really hope you do!) send your firt THREE lines (can be less than three but no more than three) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, March 12th, 2011 at 12PM ET. In the e-mail put the title of your writing, your genre (YA/MG/Adult--historical, contemp. etc.), your name that you want posted on the blog (if you want anonymous, say so), and the first THREE lines of your piece of writing.
We hope you guys participate--it will be fun and helpful!
WAIT! Before you leave...share some of your own fave first lines OR tell us what you think makes a good first line.