First lines are my favorite part of a story to write.
The last writing prompt had us using famous first lines to write a story. This week, I want you to write your own first line.
The Write Practice has a few good tips about what first lines should do: creating a vivid image and introducing your narrator’s voice are the two tips that popped out at me. Writer’s Digest talks about the different types of first lines and why your first line doesn’t have to do it all.
My favorite bit of first line advice comes from Lois Lowry. I had the pleasure to attend a lecture a few years ago, where she said that first lines should indicate a character’s normal life being disrupted.
For example, the first line of The Giver: “It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.”
A few of my own first lines fit this idea:
- “On a clear day in October, Bethany Caleb decided to bring a gun to school.” – Bethany Caleb
- “The new girl has scars on her arms, like mine.” – The Art Kids
But a first line can be anything! It holds all the promise of a new story.
Write the first line of a novel. I challenge you not to write more!
This is a challenge I hope you will lose, because if your first line hooks you into writing a novel, it’s likely to hook in readers, too!