First and foremost you should know that these are OLD opening lines. Words I would purposefully NOT string together in this way if I started the same story tomorrow. You MUST believe that, or we can’t go any further…
Are you on board with that?
Do you believe me?
Because I spent a chunk of time rooting around some old drawers, boxes and under dusty tables trying to find a novella that STILL evades me, but did get distracted by a few of my older novels and their FABULOUS opening lines.
I tell you, I can’t believe these weren’t SNAPPED UP by every agent or publisher I didn’t send them to.
Ok, so if you’re ready…
And you better be, cos the first one’s a doozy…
Dusk hung in the air, twilight her companion, both thirsty, both longing for pleasure.
😮 You were warned. But yes, I did write those lines. Are you still reading…?
Ok, so how about this little firecracker:
Eyes like piss-holes in the snow –their centres harsh and glaring, surrounded by trailing strands tapering to nothing like cracks in a windscreen struck by a stone– appeared from the depths of the chilled darkness shrouding Emily Gifford as she free-wheeled through the park.
I think I maybe just laughpeed a little. And this?
What do you do when the man you’ve considered to be the love of your life wakes you on your 30th birthday with a kiss, a present and a beer, and then says, “We have to talk”? I downed the beer. Priorities.
Actually, I don’t mind that one. That was from a novel I wrote in ’99, so it’s not so long ago… I just realised what I wrote, and is it any wonder how time SERIOUSLY slips by me… 15 YEARS isn’t so long ago? Hello!!
Ok, back on track with the dodgies:
Brakes screamed like lost souls seeking salvation.
That’s a keeper. 😉
Oh, and this one. This is from the 2nd novel I ever wrote, from WAAAAY back in the ’80’s…
With darkness shrouding him like a cloak of death, the chill wind cutting through the old cemetery like a knife possessed, seeping deep into his wounds, the clouded, cowering figure stirred, struggling to open his eyes.
And finally, we come to what might be the “best”. This one’s a couple of years after the last one. I THINK I wrote most of this novel drunk… It’s my only excuse… But then what of the re-writes… Aargh, the shame, oh the shame of it all…
Falling fast, cover upon cover racing toward him, he toward them, fingers clutching his throat, unable to stomach more, wanting to tear free the pain, the torment, the final cover flashing forward, upward, blank. Still more he screams, louder, from deeper, as it closes, tearing at his ears, his nostrils, haunted by the cover, able to smell it, hear it, movement upon, a flicker of life, of something. Through the emptiness, the voice, two words form a name.