I’ve been trying to write a great first sentence in my stories lately. It’s extremely hard to do. So I’ve been checking out popular books and see what their first sentence is.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.
-Gunslinger, Stephen King
Lady Firebird Angelo was trespassing.
-Firebird, Kathy Tyers
I’ve never been what you call a crying man.
11/22/63, Stephen King
Emma bolted out of the door of the rundown diner, pulling her five-year-old son behind her.
Chosen, Denise Grover Swank
The building was on fire, and it wasn’t my fault.
Blood Rites, Jim Butcher
“We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.
A Game of Thrones book 1, George R.R. Martin
She ran, tree limbs and brambles scratching, grabbing, tripping, and slapping her as if they were bony hands, reaching for her out of the darkness.
The Oath, Frank Peretti
See how important first sentences are? Some of these grab me more than others. Some of these I’ve read and some I haven’t. I’ve been working on tightening up the first chapter, and particularly the hook, of the story I’ve been working on.
The first sentence used to be:
Carda sat in his Miata at the red light on a metered ramp, gripping his steering wheel.
And now it’s:
James “Carda” Chase had never intended to total his car.
It’s not perfect yet, but the hook is sharper than it was. It’s amazing how much better a story is after it’s been cut and cut and cut.
Do you have a favorite first line from a book? Or have you written a sharp hook that you’re proud of?