Friday, June 23, 2006

First Lines

One of my favorite books for writers is "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook" by Donald Maass. Here's one tip from Donald:

"In my workshops, I ask every participant to read his first line. I then ask the group, 'Do you want to hear the next line?' A show of hands immediately tells us how effective a given first line has been.

"Weather effects, description and scene setting never get a strong response. Neither does plain action--unless there's something puzzling about it. The best first lines make us lean forward, wondering, 'What the heck does that mean?' A suggestion of sex is a sure-fire attention getter, but not every story can start that way. The one thing all good first lines have in common is the intrigue factor."

This week, Angie Hunt will be blogging author's first lines from their works in progress. It's a great lesson in how many ways there are to tell a story. Angie is also asking for comments on which ones interest you. You can visit Angie's website here:

Here's the first line to my soon-to-be-released novel, Arms of Deliverance.

Katrine squared her shoulders and instinctively pressed a hand to her stomach as she stepped through the open doors of the café, past the yellow sign that read NO JEWS ALLOWED.

You can order Writing the Breakout Novel here.


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

Tricia, I followed your link to Angie Hunt's blog, and found another potentially valuable resource. You have some fascinating friends.

9:25 AM  

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