How important is the first line of a book? What does it take to craft a must-read-the-rest-of-this excellent opening in a novel? I want to learn.
I am currently reading Long Gone Daddy by Helen Hemphill which opens with “The first time I met my grandfather, he was laid up on a porcelain prep table at the Hamilton-Johnson Funeral Home.” There’s no way I can stop reading after that first line!
My all-time favorite first line in a novel is from The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck: “If your teacher has to die, August isn’t a bad time of the year for it.”
I want to know: Do some writers naturally have the first line talent or can this skill be taught? Does it come easily or does it take weeks of tweaking to refine a novel’s opening line into a fantastic first line?
Do you have any tips on creating first lines? Any favorite first lines to share?