So, the blog serial is finalised and complete (by the way, I changed my mind about the POV today – hahaha!). What’s next?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Next is to edit and finish a second draft of my second novel, Matter Of Time (working title). This should have been finished about four months ago...or next Friday (not going to happen), so now I’m hoping to complete by the end of January at the latest. Fingers crossed...
Quite a lot needs doing. I wrote the first half of the novel a long time ago, paused to write The-Novel-Formerly-Known-As-Silver and then returned to it having learnt a lot and with new ideas. So now I need to work on the join and update the beginning. Not to mention all of the ideas I’ve had since finishing the first draft which now need incorporating.
After marking out on my trusty Word document the paragraphs that needed work and where new bits could be inserted, I then zoomed out of the document and noticed that I may, possibly, be head hopping.
As Bobby Singer would say, balls.
The other day I opened up the document with new vigour and stared at the first sentence. I immediately closed the document and haven’t opened it since.
The first line is; It was raining.
Not the best first line...
A first line should grip the reader, get them asking questions and force them to read on.
So today I decided to face the music and reopen the novel. It’s in desperate need of a new beginning.
I’ve been having a ‘down’ week and so the creative juices are not exactly flowing so I thought a little research would help.
I was looking for great first lines but ended up just looking at the first lines from my favourite books;
‘Logen plunged through the trees, bare feet slipping and sliding on the wet earth, the slush, the wet pine needles, breath rasping in his chest, blood thumping in his head.’
– The Blade Itself by Joe Abercombie (the first chapter is also brilliantly called The End. Oh, and I love Logen!)
‘I, Lucifer, Fallen Angel, Prince of Darkness, Bringer of Light, Ruler of Hell, Lord of the Flies, Father of Lies, Apostate Supreme, Tempter of Mankind, Old Serpent, Prince of This World, Seducer, Accuser, Tormentor, Blasphemer, and without doubt the Best Fuck in the Seen and Unseen Universe (ask Eve, that minx) have decided – oo-la-la! – to tell all.’
– I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan
‘”Too old for this shit,” muttered Craw, wincing at the pain in his dodgy knee with every other step.’
– The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (not one of my favourite books but a very engaging first line).
‘The smuggler held the bullet between thumb and forefinger, studying it in the weak light of the store room.’
– Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
‘Hello. My name is Anubis. I like long walks on the beach, carrying departed souls into the underworld, and the cinema of Mr. Woody Allen.’
– Divine Misfortune by A Lee Martinez (again, not one of my favourites but these first lines made me buy the book).
‘The most important things are the hardest things to say.’
– The Body by Stephen King (and my favourite book ever, in the whole world).
‘First the colours.
Then the humans.
That’s usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.’
– The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
‘It occurs to Brian Blake as he huddles in the musty darkness, the terror constricting his chest, the pain throbbing in his knees: If only he possessed a second pair of hands, he could cover his own ears, and maybe block out the noise of human heads being demolished.’
– Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
‘Some things start before other things.’
– Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (read this book!).
‘One of the luckiest accidents in my wife’s life is that she happened to marry a man who was born on the 26th of September.’
– The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
What are your favourite first lines?