A Novel’s First Line

One of the challenges a writer faces is how to “hook” readers. The opening lines of a novel cannot ensure the book’s success, but they can ensure its failure. Most readers will not read a book if the opening paragraphs don’t grab their attention. The first line of a novel is very important.

I keep a list of novels’ first lines in my writer’s notebook. The opening sentence I’m sharing with you today is from that list.

“I’m a good liar.” — Pretending to Dance, by Diane Chamberlain.

What’s the first line of a novel that you recall?


4 thoughts on “A Novel’s First Line

  1. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again” always springs to mind. So agree that the first line can feel make or break – the amount of days I’ve spent staring out the window trying desperately to think of that perfect first sentence!!


  2. You’re welcome! The first line of Wuthering Heights often sticks in my mind too (In all of England I don’t believe… ) but I hate Wuthering Heights with the passion of a thousand suns so I try not to quote it!


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