First lines in a novel are supposed to be wildly important. Something to jump out at the casual browser and make him buy the book. I think this is mostly true. I try to come up with interesting first lines. And I admit when I pick up someone else's novel, I love an intriguing first sentence. But I wouldn't say all my novels have absolutely sparkling first lines. Some are definitely better than others.
If the first line isn't sparkling, however, I say the next one better be. The entire paragraph better be grabbing. The first page ... oh, yeah. Or the browser's long gone.
So I got to looking at all my first lines. I'll list them in order by book series--without comment. You can decide if one's a grabber or not. Perhaps, looking at the list, you'll gain some insights in general about what works and what doesn't for you. I did notice trends in my mine. I usually start with some statement or thought. Only one book opens with dialogue.
The first three are my women's fiction titles. The rest are suspense.
The last time I saw my mother alive, she was on her way to serve the poor.
Cast a Road Before Me (Bradleyville #1)
The boxes are heavy, their rough rope handles cutting into my palms.
Color the Sidewalk For Me (Bradleyville #2)
(This was the opening dream sequence beginning mentioned in my post on dreams last week--therefore it's in italics and in present tense. Okay--so I lied about no commenting.)
I remember how even the sky mourned with us, hanging in shades of gray, chilled and fitful.
Capture the Wind for Me (Bradleyville #3)
Eyes of Elisha (Chelsea Adams #1)
(Well, hey, dontcha wonder what's beeping?)
After twenty years of midnights among the dead, Victor Mendoza didn't spook easily.
Dread Champion (Chelsea Adams #2)
The noises, faint, fleeting, whispered into her consciousness like wraiths in the night.
Brink of Death (Hidden Faces #1)
He should have called the police.
Stain of Guilt (Hidden Faces #2).
Not so pretty in death, are you.
Dead of Night (Hidden Faces #3)
Web of Lies (Hidden Faces #4)
Paige Williams harbored a restless kinship with the living dead.
Violet Dawn (Kanner Lake #1)
Coral Moon (Kanner Lake #2)
"Really, is a heinous murder any reason to devalue such a glorious piece of real estate?"
Crimson Eve (Kanner Lake #3--releases this September)
Any man going on this mission wasn't coming back.
Amber Morn (Kanner Lake #4--releases April 2008)
Okay, there you have it. Peck away. Or perhaps you have some of your own to lay on me ...
(By the way, first chapters or other early excerpts of all my books can be read on my web site.)