Opening Novel Lines

by ryankl

“Being knee deep in a grave was a weird feeling.”

“He kicked my ass good and I knew I was wrong so I pretty much let it happen.”

“Incessant yet erratic pounding sounded like someone was trying to break into Edgar’s reality one dislodged chunk at a time.”

“It’s rare to see a comic hero dump someone.”

These four sentences are the opening sentences to the four novels I have written.

I really dislike one of them.

I have to say, I’m massively digging that last one. It’s from a novel I wrote in a flurry right before my wedding. The wife told me I could not be writing a novel once we hit our marriage. Just for that planning/exucuting phase, she needed my attention and brain – two things I lose while elbows deep in a novel. So I worked my ass off and wrapped up Novel #3 quickly. In fact, it was so quick that I felt I had time up my sleeve. So I secretly started Novel #4 and managed to wrap it in a few months and well before the wedding.

And there it has sat ever since. Unlike the other novels, which have gone through a variety of rereading, editing, even shopping, this fourth book hasn’t even been read once. We got married, honeymoon, I landed a gig with TWC, then CBR, then a son, then more comic writing ops, then kid 2.0. It’s been a blur and I have not gone back once. Opening the doc to get this line would be the first time I went in there in two years, easy.

But there is the opening line from Novel #4 and it represents the book – or what I remember of it – perfectly. I dig it.

It was interesting to go back and scope these lines out, and post them here. An opening line should really put the reader right into the book. It’s so important. You have to hook the reader. It’s a balanced alchemy and one you can’t think too much about but it does require thought. Some of my lines above do this well, I believe. Some do not. I’ll let you decide.

I love opening lines; they’re like a first kiss.