Great First Lines of Novels

snoopytyping I am taking a writing course offered through about novel writing that author, Jim Patterson, leads. In lesson number 10 he discusses the importance of the first line of a novel. He explains that the first line of your novel  must grab the reader and then suck them into your story. It needs be so captivating that the reader must read on. I couldn’t agree more!

This, however, got me thinking about some of my favorite books and the novels we herald as the “Greats”. What were their opening lines? Did their lines get a hold of me, like Jim says they should? Take a look at the list I have compiled below and tell me, do these opening lines grip you hard or are they hardly gripping? Send me a message about what you  think and include your your favorite opening line.

First Lines

“It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.” Outlander, Diana Gabaldon


4 thoughts on “Great First Lines of Novels

  1. I think the Tale of Two Cities line is too long for today’s readers, although I’ve read and enjoyed books with sentences (even first ones) that go on for a long time.
    I can’t even begin to quote a favorite first line, but I really like this one. “Between the clay banks of the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay, there is a beach a thousand miles long.”


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