48 comments on “Famous First Lines (…& a Contest!)

  1. ooh! I like this idea for a contest. Very awesome opening lines.

    Here’s mine: From one of my (many) WIPs (Not titled yet). :)

    “Just when you think that life can’t get any worse, Vivian Thompson shows up in the hallway.”

  2. I enjoyed your post so much. What a great game to play with writer friends; guess which novel this first line belongs to? You also come up with the best contests! Here’s my opening line from a novel I’ve been writing on the side:

    “As Lola lay there at the bottom of the pit, her sight still spinning from her fall, she thought about all the warnings: a girl like you shouldn’t be going into those woods alone; something big is out there and you don’t want to be the one who finds it; at least carry a gun.”

    So much fun! (^Sara that sounds awesome!) I can’t wait to see some more!

  3. “I expected to hear trumpets, I thought I would see horsemen, I predicted
    that the Mississippi would run red. But we can’t always get what we want.” -Fred Shrum,”That Funky White Light”

  4. I love when first line posts pop up
    I always find interesting wips
    Here’s one of mine— from a short I am racing to finish for an open anthology deadline

    Dear Santa … Omigosh, how stupid is this?

    I know… Trite and simple compared to some of these other ones

  5. Great post! Thanks for doing this!

    Here’s my first line:

    “Chris had never felt she was a man trapped in a woman’s body so much as she had simply always felt trapped.”

    • Wow, K.C., you’ve gotten what I assume is the story’s central conflict spelled out perfectly in the first sentence. I immediately know this is going to be a story about gender identity and a woman’s struggle to come to terms with it. Kudos!

      • Ha- funny, I was just thinking, “nobody liked my first line…” when i opened my email and saw your comment. Thanks! What makes that line worse is I’m writing a memoir. My son actually said that to me one night- he said I’d be the one to find his body, so he wanted it to be the least traumatic scenario for me. Hey, thanks.

        He’s alive and well all these years later thanks to a good psychiatrist.

      • Oh my goodness. That’s really brave of you to tackle an issue like that in memoir. I think the first line definitely grabs you.

  6. “Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset into the street of Salem village; but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife.”
    -Nathaniel Hawthorne

    “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.”
    -Edgar Allen Poe

    “In the first week after Labor Day, after a summer of hot wind and drought that left the cane fields dust blown and spiderwebbed with cracks, rain showers once more danced across the wetlands, the temperature dropped twenty degrees, and the sky turned the hard flawless blue of an inverted ceramic bowl.”
    -James Lee Burke

    “Years ago, in State documents, Vachel Carmouche was always referred to as the electrician, never as the executioner.”
    -James Lee Burke

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s