Your PERFECT Opening Line

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#1

That first line could keep them from reading something spectacular. With that in mind, it better be intriguing.

Post your greatest/favorite first line of a story you’ve either written or are planning to write, so we can all help each-other refine this incredibly important part of our stories. Feeling shy? I’ll give it a start:

From my newly released, first story ‘Sleeping Dragons’ (desperate shameless plug, cough cough)
"Before you die of thirst, you go mad. Riley kept remembering that."


#2

My masterpiece of a first line is still from the 2018 version of Vipersong.

“The water smelled of shit.”


#3

A story I’m working on right now.

Society gave up on the troubled kids who refused to be disciplined.


#4

How lovely, lol. That made me smirk, I’d definitely keep reading.


#5

A story i don’t plan to write until years from now:

“Humanity was always diseased, rotten to the core. Now our corruption is for all to see”


#6

From my current novella The Red Ribbon that’s already up on my profile:

“Disgusting” was the word he’d use to describe himself. “Stupid” came in a close second.


#7

I’m honoured. I don’t plan on changing it at all, not when it’s struck a chord with my readers and snagged their attention from the get-go.


#8

I like it, self-deprecation is a pretty likable character trait when done in moderation :+1:


#9

The opening line from The Autumn Tree, my first book in a series.

There is a legend in my world that tells of a time when the world will come to an end, and time will cease as we know it.


#10

Just ONE? Friend, I cannot restrain myself that much. Also, uh, sometimes more than one sentence, per say, works as a hook anyway. And I’m bad a picking favorites, so um–throws four of mine at you. Also, I’m SUPER hyped that you made this thread. I love first lines. :smiley: I feel like you can almost see the difference in the genres from first lines alone.

A trio of jackals laugh as they drag a severed arm up the southernmost road of Nem, leaving behind a trail of blood that winds like a desert-cobra in the sand. -Court of Jackals

My dearest Celosia, if you’re reading this letter, then I am likely long dead. -The Melting Crown

Two weeks after her dragon-egg did not hatch, Fox tried to steal another one from the Incubation Den. This was how she earned her name. -Crow of the Fox

My Drill Instructor had the face of a bull: wide nose, dark eyes, brow set into a permanent V. He did that angry-snort thing when he spoke sometimes, too. Sergeant Mayfield was a serious man, which was exactly why the word he’d just said had me so confused.

“Pluto.”

And no, he wasn’t talking about the wannabe planet. -Nexus


#11

“If you had a choice between saving the world or saving those dearest to you, which would you choose? I hope the decision will be as easy for you as it was for me.” - War Wielder - Book 1 of an Aderié Odyssey


#12

I was ready to go shop heels.
From: A Valentino Date

I don’t think this is great, but it basically ties the story together.


#13

This is from my not so ready story Battle for the Castle. It’s not perfect but you get the gist.

An explosion shook the castle, waking the young seven year old with a start.


#14

‘how long can you stare at the front page of a porn site before you go mad.’


#15

this :ok_hand:


#16

I like it! It’s an enticing first statement as it already establishes an antagonistic dynamic between society and these “troubled kids”. Given the phrasing “troubled kids” and “disciplined” it inclines me to believe the story will deal with themes of societally enforced value systems (or law) and the protagonist(s)’ relationship(s) with(in) it.

I have one small suggestion that you might find helpful, as long as it doesn’t deconstruct the rest of your opening. You might want to add a bit more ambiguity within your opening line. You have the elements of “society”, “troubled kids”, “refused”, and “disciplined” which are concrete enough that I was confident I knew where you were going thematically. Unless this is a red herring, you might want to bait the reader more with more indirect callings to these themes.

To accomplish this, I might reconstruct your line as follows, as an example:

“Society turned its back to the troubled kids who tossed their leashes.”

Not saying that this line is an improvement of yours, but it’s my attempt to show that by replacing the theme “discipline” with “tossed their leashes” it innately inspires more curiosity as the reader (hopefully) is not as certain what the author means by “tossed their leashes”. They are inclined to read further to uncover the theme of discipline/law in your opening. Also, adding motion based language (turned its back) is a convenient trick to add more power when conveying how society “gave up” on the “troubled kids”.

Hope you find this useful - great job!


#17

First line of Three Day Rental

“My story starts in aisle three of the local pharmacy, surrounded by antiperspirant and razors.”


#18

I don’t know if it’s good :sweat_smile:, but the story won a @fright contest:


#19

Death is a certainty of which we cannot escape. We may prolong its absence but eventually we will all be claimed.

First line from my current wip


#20

A short story.

“You do know you can get herpes from kissing, right?”