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Opening sentences ...

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Showing 1-25 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Dec 2013 09:57:41 GMT
Spiralise says:
I'm looking for examples of opening sentences. Disregard the blurb, the cover, the name of the writer - it is in the opening lines that a writer and reader are formally introduced.

Post your own, with a link to the book, or your favourite by another author.

I shall start with one of my own ...

'The light blinked green for two seconds then turned red. All the lights went off. They wanted him to sleep. Holding his breath, he listened to the sounds of an alien environment, magnified and echoed by the suddenness of the dark. The jangle of keys receded down a corridor of earshot, a distant door slammed.'

Virtual Assassin


Posted on 4 Dec 2013 11:02:13 GMT
There we go, Spiralise

For The Love Of Honey (Simon Grant Mysteries)
just published book 3 in the Simon Grant Mysteries series

`In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.'

The first in the series, HIDING THE ELEPHANT (Simon Grant Mysteries)
starts with

'The only light is in the hall, seeping into the room through the half open door. They see each other in patches of pale flesh and the threat of jerky, disembodied movements.'

The first line of its sequel, LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS (Simon Grant Mysteries)

'Thin threads of congealed purplish fibre and pale yellow gristle formed a fine mesh over the smooth, shiny surface of two identical blobs of jelly. They wobbled slightly with each move of the hands that held them, moulded to the concave shape of the palms as if nestling in the new home.'

Posted on 4 Dec 2013 13:32:06 GMT
Bobby's Girl
'Gene Vincent was singing Bee-bop-a-Lula about the time it all began.'

Posted on 5 Dec 2013 12:20:53 GMT
Spiralise says:
Great stuff, thanks for posting. Anyone else?

Posted on 5 Dec 2013 13:08:03 GMT
mountainmama says:
"Branches, bushes and trees flew by on the amazingly stable video display. The man's labored breath was exceptionally clear. You could almost hear his heart pounding out of his chest."

Chronicles of Time: Book 1

Posted on 5 Dec 2013 16:22:14 GMT
The Caribbean island paradise was being lashed by a hurricane.

Climate Control is mine.

I think my favourite of all time is:

In a hole in the ground lived a Hobbit.

The Hobbit

Posted on 5 Dec 2013 16:22:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Dec 2013 16:23:56 GMT
The Caribbean island paradise was being lashed by a hurricane.

Climate Control is mine.

I think my favourite of all time is:

In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.

The Hobbit

Posted on 5 Dec 2013 18:14:39 GMT
Nice idea. OK, then, here's one for you:

The tidings of the King's death were greeted with howls of disbelief at Gerroch. Even though no-one there could claim to have known Theofric, Gerroch is a royal castle and so its denizens always have been fiercely loyal. When we learned that he had died, not of sickness or age, but instead struck down by an assassin's knife, those howls turned to ones of outrage. When we heard that the knife had been wielded by a Hussanian, Hogra Himself would have quailed at the force of our anger.

The first lines (actually, the first paragraph) of Questions of Allegiance (The Count of Trall) by ... er ... me.


Posted on 7 Dec 2013 13:15:21 GMT
Spiralise says:
Great stuff, keep 'em coming!

Posted on 7 Dec 2013 13:25:21 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Dec 2013 13:30:45 GMT
OK, here's my WIP, One Man: No Plan, the first two books in the Trilogy are out and this book plus the fourth, yeh, I know I can't count, should be out in April.

"The first thing that forced its way into Deirdre's consciousness was the pain. The second thing was an ardent longing to be asleep still. She supposed there were some parts of her that didn't ache. Yeh, her eyelids were OK. And her nose. That didn't hurt. Or her left ear. Anywhere else pain free? No. It would seem not.


These reflections were disturbed by Deirdre's usual first thought upon waking in the morning, which was that she could quite do with a wee."

Sorry, that's more than a sentence but I wanted to get to the joke.



Posted on 7 Dec 2013 13:30:28 GMT
Or the book after those two, scheduled for release in Autumn 2015: Saving the World is Not For Girls.

"My tray crashed onto the canteen floor in a tsunami of overheated baked beans and orange juice; I retained a vivid mental picture of one of my Cumberland sausages skidding under the drinks machine and then blackness."



Posted on 8 Dec 2013 15:00:14 GMT
Spiralise says:
I am an atheist, but one of my favourite opening lines of all time is this, from St. John's gospel ...

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεός ἦν ὁ Λόγος.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Posted on 8 Dec 2013 16:13:23 GMT
Max China says:
The Sister

Midsummer 2007

He'd always stayed away from deep water - it scared him, but this time was different, he jumped in to save someone; his efforts have exhausted him. He can't swim.

Did you save her?

Posted on 8 Dec 2013 16:33:09 GMT
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection) One of the best ever is:
'Curiouser and curiouser.' Chapter 2

Posted on 10 Dec 2013 14:59:02 GMT
Frank Mundo says:
"One morning 12-year-old Gregory Gourde woke from a troubling dream with more than just a headache. His head had transformed in his sleep and was no longer his head. In fact, his head was not even a human head at all."

This is from my new book called Different

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 10:31:11 GMT
Spiralise says:
'It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.' - George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

What a brilliant introduction to the mood of the book.

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 12:43:36 GMT
P.J. Taylor says:
'The first time Brian ever met his Grandparents was at a funeral'

Taken from Brian, His Granddad & the Cup of Ages.

Posted on 19 Dec 2013 13:30:40 GMT
Spiralise says:
A seasonal opening for all festive readers ...

'Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. '

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Posted on 31 Dec 2013 12:50:47 GMT
Spiralise says:
Here's an oldie for the old year departing ... from Don Quixote ...

"Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing."

Posted on 3 Jan 2014 13:33:57 GMT
Spiralise says:
And one more ... something new for the new year ... well, something new to most people (it was published in the 1940s)

"In the courtyard an old woman is standing and holding a clock in her hands. I walk through, past the old woman, stop and ask her: - What time is it?
- Have a look - the old woman says to me.
I look and see that there are no hands on the clock."

The Old Woman - Daniil Kharms (a master of the absurd)

Posted on 4 Jan 2014 01:18:29 GMT
Bobby's Girl
Gene Vincent was singing 'Bee-Bop-a-Lula' about the time it all began.

Posted on 8 Jan 2014 10:56:19 GMT
Spiralise says:
Come on, people, and writers, there must be others willing to contribute!

Posted on 8 Jan 2014 11:49:35 GMT
Verse for Ages Poems, as we know, are quite hard to publicise
Unless you're a celebrity or have great big blue eyes!

Posted on 8 Jan 2014 11:55:52 GMT
Queen of Spades 'The crow flew, as the crow flies, above the patchwork of Buckinghamshire countryside, swooping and gliding towards what appeared to be a glinting, silver pearl in the far greenish-brown distance.'
Does this arouse curiosity?

Posted on 8 Jan 2014 14:55:45 GMT
Bill Todd says:
Here is the opening to my first Danny Lancaster crime thriller:
"He'd been surprised at the sound his father's skull made when he split it with the axe. He wasn't sure what he expected, maybe something wet, squashy. There wasn't much mess, at least not until he yanked out the blade."
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Initial post:  4 Dec 2013
Latest post:  20 Jan 2014

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