Last night the Salt Water Writers met for another rousing week of exploration and fun with our writing. Last night we spent some time on first lines. It was a great exercise that proved to be a (not-so-gentle) catalyst launching us into other-worlds with actions already going on. I continue to be so impressed with our writers original voices. It is such a joy to write with these people.
I scoured the interwebs for great first lines and boy, there were a lot of lists. It’s too hard to narrow down in my book. But The Telegraph took a stab at it:
‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ | George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.” | Stephen Crane: The Red Badge Of Courage (1895)
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” | J.D Salinger: The Catcher In The Rye (1951)
“All this happened, more or less.” | Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse Five (1969)
When at the library I always skim through the books and will open to a page in the middle to see if I want to check it out but perhaps I should just go with the first line from now on!
A first line will definitely let you know if you want to read more…