First Lines…And A Little Contest…

Yes, there have been a million posts on first lines of a novel…but, for whatever reason I was compelled to look at this.  Maybe it’s because I have been rewriting the opening pages of my MS this week…maybe it is something else.  But, I wanted to look at a selection of opening lines and get your opinion…would you read the rest of the story?

Take these:

1)  “Coraline discovered the door alittle while after they moved into the house”

2)  “All our attempts at subterfuge had been in vain.”

3)  “Janie Hannagan’s math book slips from her fingers.”

4) “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

5)  “When, suddenly, on an ordinary Wednesday, it seemed to Barney that the world tilted and ran downhill in all directions, he knew  he was about to be haunted again.”

6) “Most people outgrow their nightmares – but not me.”

I personally thought these opening lines would make me curious enough to keep reading…but would you?

Rachelle Gardner wrote a nice post on this topic a while back…check it out for her advice on writing the opening lines of your novel. 

In the meantime, let’s have a little contest…

Leave me a comment as to whether or not these opening lines speak to you and make you want to read on.  Tell me why you enjoyed them as well.  I will randomly select  a winner and announce it on Friday.  What will you win… books of course (you can pick of the books these lines were taking from or a gift card)

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED….WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY!!!

Good Luck and let me know what you think of these!!!

11 thoughts on “First Lines…And A Little Contest…

  1. 1) “Coraline discovered the door alittle while after they moved into the house”

    I know this one, and yes, I would definitely read on.

    2) “All our attempts at subterfuge had been in vain.”

    No. I wouldn’t read on, and this is why: Subterfuge? There are less complicated words to use.

    3) “Janie Hannagan’s math book slips from her fingers.”
    Yep, I’d at least read the first page. It starts with action. The only thing that might hinder me at this point is that it’s written in present tense. I’m not a huge fan of that.

    4) “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”
    Same as No. 3. I’d definitely read the first page.

    5) “When, suddenly, on an ordinary Wednesday, it seemed to Barney that the world tilted and ran downhill in all directions, he knew he was about to be haunted again.”

    This is an interesting sentence, but it’s very long and convoluted for an opener.

    6) “Most people outgrow their nightmares – but not me.”

    I like this. I’d definitely continue.

    This is fun. Will you later tell us what books these are from?

    BTW: Rachelle gave a critique of the first page I later submitted as part of the two part contest she did with first lines. Yay!

  2. colleen kosinski

    First Lines…And A Little Contest…
    April 8, 2009 by Christine Fonseca
    Yes, there have been a million posts on first lines of a novel…but, for whatever reason I was compelled to look at this. Maybe it’s because I have been rewriting the opening pages of my MS this week…maybe it is something else. But, I wanted to look at a selection of opening lines and get your opinion…would you read the rest of the story?

    Take these:

    1) “Coraline discovered the door alittle while after they moved into the house”

    Yes, finding something that may hold a mystery or treasure always intrigues me.

    2) “All our attempts at subterfuge had been in vain.”

    Nah, too heavy.

    3) “Janie Hannagan’s math book slips from her fingers.”

    Nah, not exciting enough.

    4) “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

    I get the picture of a woman who has lost a husband and I’m not much into women’s lit.

    5) “When, suddenly, on an ordinary Wednesday, it seemed to Barney that the world tilted and ran downhill in all directions, he knew he was about to be haunted again.”

    I like this. I’d read on. I’m also partial to paranormal tales.

    6) “Most people outgrow their nightmares – but not me.”

    Yes, sounds spooky.

  3. Ooh, the one I like is “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

    That is great. Makes me want to know why. Maybe the spousal unit works graveyard or something. Or maybe it’s that s/he goes to the gym early. Or maybe…yeah, I’d definitely read more of that.

    1. Christine Fonseca

      Hey everyone…love the comments!!! I will share the results and which book they are from tomorrow evening.

  4. S. Susan VanLeeuwen

    Janie Hannigan’s mathbook … there’s something intruiging about this one. When something slips from your fingers it usually falls. Getting a character to look down is a great way to make a discovery of some sort. BTW, the first one … it should be a little not one word … if I saw it written like that, I wouldn’t read on. I also like the nightmare one.

  5. 1) “Coraline discovered the door alittle while after they moved into the house” YES

    2) “All our attempts at subterfuge had been in vain.” NO

    3) “Janie Hannagan’s math book slips from her fingers.” NOT REALLY

    4) “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.” YES

    5) “When, suddenly, on an ordinary Wednesday, it seemed to Barney that the world tilted and ran downhill in all directions, he knew he was about to be haunted again.”NO

    6) “Most people outgrow their nightmares – but not me.” FOR SURE!

  6. 1) “Coraline discovered the door alittle while after they moved into the house” YES! Yay for Neil Gaiman! But even if I hadn’t read it already, I’d be intrigued.

    2) “All our attempts at subterfuge had been in vain.” No. I don’t know why, but I almost feel like ‘in vain’ makes it sound pretentious.

    3) “Janie Hannagan’s math book slips from her fingers.” Not excited. It sounds like someone is napping in class😛.

    4) “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”
    YES! Why is it cold? I’m sad, and I want to know what happened.

    5) “When, suddenly, on an ordinary Wednesday, it seemed to Barney that the world tilted and ran downhill in all directions, he knew he was about to be haunted again.” Oooh, haunted is good! Yes, please!

    6) “Most people outgrow their nightmares – but not me.” Hmm, borderline. Seems a little overly dramatic, but I’d read more to see what’s up.

    Thanks, Christine!😀 Nice blog–this is my first time here!

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