Friday, June 12, 2009

Please welcome Pens Fatales guest...Maya Banks :)

Given that I’ve known the topic of this week for uhm quite a few weeks and the fact that I had absolutely nada in the way of inspiration, I think I’m with Martha on the importance of a first line. I read a lot of books. I mean a lot. I wracked my brain to remember any snappy first lines and I came up blank. I’m sure plenty of authors had them, but it’s not what I remember about their books. I remember characters, a great plot, a really yummy romance, a great hero…but not their first lines. Telling huh?

So instead I looked through my books to see what I’d used as a first line since apparently I don’t place a whole lot of emphasis on them. And yeah, after looking, I can see that I don’t *sigh*

No guts, no glory, no orgasm. –from “What She Craves” in the For Her Pleasure anthology.

It was a damned miserable day to day. –from “Her Majesty, My Love”

Sir Rodrick Castleton fled as if the hounds of hell were nipping at his heels. –from “Beyond the Night”

He had to have pissed off a hell of a lot of people in a past life. It was the only explanation he could come up with as to why he’d drawn this pussy-ass babysitting job. –from as of yet unnamed Kelly book 3 (Garrett’s story)

And sometimes you need the first couple of lines to set that all important first scene.

She had the look of a woman on a mission. Eli Chance recognized a sexual predator
when he saw one. And damn if he didn’t want to be her next victim. –from “Into the Mist”

So yeah, while it’s nice to have a snappy, memorable first line, the truth is, even if you do, I probably won’t remember it. But a really good story? Yeah, I’ll remember that.

6 comments:

Abby said...

I'm new here and enjoying all the different points of view - this blog a great idea! Re first lines, when I pick up a book by an author I don't know, I do not read the first line. Instead, I select a random page and read that, to see if I like the author's style. But now I will have to read those first lines as well. Thanks!

Juliet Blackwell said...

This is a great discussion, isn't it? Some who tout the "page 69" test -- flip any new book to 69 and read that page to get the real flavor for a book. Maybe that would be better than first lines.
Though I have to say, "No guts. No glory. No orgasm" is going to go up there with one of my favorite firsts, Maya!

Karen Olson said...

A couple of great first lines:

Call me Ishmael.

Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.

flchen1 said...

I have to agree, Maya--I don't always remember first lines, but if the story's great, I do remember that! You've written quite a few of those! ;)

Dana Fredsti said...

The first line that comes to mind for me is 'Scarlett O'Hara wasn't beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charms as the Tarleton twins were.'

That may be paraphrasing, but I think it's really close...and it caught my imagination first time around!

Dana Fredsti said...

And Karen, I just read your comment after leaving mine! Great minds and all that. :-)