Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Good Hook

"When Jake Matthews walked out the door for his early morning run, he had no idea he’d be dead in twenty-three minutes. Nor that it would begin the biggest adventure of his life."

I jotted this down this morning. I've been working on a book off and on for a couple of years. You know, it's that book, the one that won't go away, that you have completely plotted out and know it inside and out, yet it is just too big of an idea to throw yourself completely into at this time in your life, so it percolates, always there, but never quite right, even while I'm actually working on it between other projects. The beginning, those first few crucial lines have never been right. I've rewritten them a quintillion times, but today I thought I had something good. I didn't realize how right until my 15 year old daughter came in and saw my scratchy lines, lying on my desk and startled me by saying, "Is this a life after death thing? or does he have an adventure in only 23 minutes?" I had hooked her. She had to know. So much so that instead of running off to do her own thing, she sat down at my computer while I pulled up the first chapter (all that's written so far) and she read it right then and there.

Yeah, I'm smiling.

So what's been your favorite first lines that hooked you?


Faith said...

Um, mine's laced with profanities. Sorry. My character swears even more profusely than I do.

This is from the newest novel I'm working on, The Canterbury Trails. I will say no more about it, but it is very much a work in progress. And no, every page is not this laced with profanity, and no, it's not entirely written in journal format.

July 30, 2004

My son-of-a-bitchin’ Aunt Alice left me a son-of-a-bitchin’ trailer park. What the holy hell am I supposed to do with a son-of-a-bitchin’ trailer park??? I can’t even sell the bastard because it’s an absolutely worthless piece of shit!

Fuck. I need to get drunk.

Izzybella said...

Do you mean the best line I've written or the best line I've ever read? For the one I've ever read-I'm a purist--I love "Last night I dreamed of Manderley." Hooked me right away and it was honestly the first "grown-up" book I'd ever read from cover to cover, without cheating by skimming.

I have to say your opener was VERY intriguing. I really wanna read the book too!!

Best one I've ever written? Hmmm. When it's that hard to think of one, it's like a great big, shiny clue for me to work on my writing a bit more. Like I needed that clue.

Sam said...

Very cool!
I don't recall one from a book I've read, but this is my favorite of ones I've written;

"The day I found her was unremarkable - a sunny day, blue sky and gentle breeze making it feel, if you closed your eyes, that you were floating with the clouds. A picture-perfect spring day. I say it was unremarkable with one exception - her."

Anonymous said...

Good post.