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  1. Justinem

    Justinem New Member

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    Great first lines

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Justinem, Jul 2, 2017.

    Really interested on advice about what makes a great first line. Obviously something to hook the reader in - hinting at suspense, drama etc to follow, right? Would something like this work?

    The summer I turned six my brother threw wet sand in my eyes.
     
  2. JPClyde

    JPClyde Senior Member

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    Depends on the novel and what you're trying to convey. A first line is what shapes the tone and atmosphere of the novel for the rest of its existence. It needs something to convey the world that one lives in and the voice of a character. That is what I believe a first line does.
     
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  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    It's kinda anticlimactic, to my taste. With the first chunk of that sentence I was expecting the brother to die or disappear or learn to fly or something. Then he just threw wet sand? That seems kinda standard and unmemorable, unless the sand-throwing led to something more dramatic, in which case I'd probably substitute that in. Like, "The summer I turned six my brother blinded me" or whatever.
     
  4. Justinem

    Justinem New Member

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    Thanks. It's kind of a work in progress. Totally get what you mean and you're right.
     
  5. Justinem

    Justinem New Member

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    Hi JPClyde. I'm going for a chatty, young adult novel revolving around kid/family adventures told in the first person, obviously. Probably need to add something else in there to give readers a sense of place, I think. Thanks for the tip.
     
  6. JPClyde

    JPClyde Senior Member

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    Then the first line doesn't work for a chatty young adult novel. A question might work

    "Ever had wet sand in your eye? I did. When I was six. My brother thought he was funny throwing it at me. He said it be just like having a snowball fight, it wasn't."
     
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  7. Siena

    Siena Senior Member

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    Best first line I can think of is "I believed in America." Godfather. That tells you tons about the movie in a very indirect way.
     

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