(To my email subscribers. Click on the title THE FIRST LINE in the above box for full post, links—and color.)
Playing Around With a Story Line in Different Literary Genres
Hi there Writers and Readers,
Writing Leap #12 The First Line
It either piques your imagination or it doesn’t. Some readers never get past it, stifling a yawn. While the first line doesn’t need to hit you over the head it does need to beckon you in with a seductive smile. The seduction begins with he very first hint of the story, the narrator and the mood.
New Story Line
When We Discover Something That Sparkles
Again, play loose with the story line for your first line. Beginnings sparkle with the promise of discovery.
A discovery is always a new beginning. Things will be different forever after.
Here’s my first line.
When Nora arrived in Cloud Creek, Colorado from New York City she landed right in the middle of sunlit snowdrifts that sparkled just for her–maybe–temperatures below five degrees and a few folks who bustled on by in puffy parkas, double hats and thick scarves wound round and round.
O.K. not Hemingway, but the whole point is to try–heart and soul. Reading famous first lines that slurp you in helps to point the way.
Some of my favorite first lines
“‘Where’s Papa going with that axe?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.” E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
“‘Take my camel, dear,’ said my Aunt Dot as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.” Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond
“When I was three and Bailey was four, we had arrived in the musty little town wearing tags on our wrists which instructed, ‘To Whom It May Concern’ that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr. from Long Beach, California en route to Stamps, Arkansas c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson.” Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
And the one that makes children’s eyes open wide, “Once Upon A Time”
Do you have a favorite first line? Share it on the blog.
So go ahead dear writing buddies. Focus on your first line and try and make it an irresistible invitation to hop on board the train headed for your story to come.No
No pressure. Remember you love to write. Just begin at the beginning.
Happy Writing and Happy Reading,
LINKING THE ARTS
A Good Strong Word
anticipation: in the sense of being eager to engage in what follows, to look for the sparkles in discovery. First lines give us a push.
Two Intriguing Photos
Doorways, Gates and Archways are portals to discovery–like first lines. I would love to know, imagine or write about what may be behind that little Hobbit door or what magic might lie beyond that archway of trees. And you?
What is that little square thing?