Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First Lines: You Had Me At...

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:

A novel's opening is like a pick up line. If it's good, you might take it home. If it's bad... well. You know.

What are your favorite first lines? How do your own WIPs start?
I haven't participated in a Road-Trip Wednesday in quite some time, but I'm so glad that I'm coming back into the fold with this topic.  First lines always get me.  Good or bad, they tell me everything I need to know about the book I'm about to read.  I know almost immediately whether I'll like, love, or be somewhat ambivalent about.
So, first with my favorite first lines.  Some of you may recognize many (Hell, three out of the four) of these from my Friday Five a couple weeks back when I regaled you all with my list of books that make me jealous want to be a better writer. 
"So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee." WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson   GUH...sheer poetry.  Why, oh why, can't I write like that?!?!
"The first feeling is exhilaration."  BREAK by Hannah Moskowitz  Jeeze, Hannah!  Five words and you have me slathering for more.  Just goes to show you that you really don't need long, flowery prose to snatch your reader's attention.  In the immortal words of Nike, "Just Do It."  And, Hannah does.
"Everyone thinks it was because of the snow."  IF I STAY by Gayle Forman  A simple, yet poetic beginning to an achingly beautiful story.
"I knew it would begin with the end and the end would look like death to these eyes.  I had been warned."  THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer  This is one of my favorite books of all time.  Science fiction for those of us who don't really like sci-fi (and those of us that do).  I highly recommend this to anyone, and FYI: this is the December Book Hungry book club pick :)
Now, for the second part of this road-trip.  My favorite first lines of my own works.  I'm actually going to give you two, because I can't decide which ones I like more.
"This was the place for society's rejects, where the bottom feeders came out in support of one another.  And, I was their newest initiate."  BROKEN (2 drafts complete...still revising)
"All my hiding places have disappeared, vanished into thin air within a fraction of a second."  ALWAYS AND FOREVER (current WiP...40K into approximately 70K)