I am on a never-ending quest for the perfect opening line.

As part of my search, today I went through a bunch of my books, looking at the opening lines while I hoped for inspiration to strike. It hasn't–yet–but I thought I'd post some of my favorites here.

Let's start with my favorite book of the year so far. City of Dragons, by Kelli Stanley:

"Miranda didn't hear the sound he made when his face hit the sidewalk."

What follow is even better, but this sentence alone gives one a sense of the type of book this is going to be. Love it.

Here's the rest of 'em:

"Whuppin' ass wasn't so hard, Stella Hardesty thought as she took aim with the little Raven .25 she took off a cheating son-of-a-bitch in Kansas city last month." – A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield

"Coming back from the dead isn't as easy as they make it seem in the movies." Money Shot by Christa Faust

"As Clifford Rose came to, the first thing he recognized was the stink, like a drainpipe running out of hell." The Loud Adios by Ken Kuhlken

"In the beginning, I believed in second chances." Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

"It was hot as an Alabama outhouse when I got off the plane from Barcelona." The Jook by Gary Phillips

"Our hero was not one of those Dominican cats everybody's always going on about–he wasn't no home-run hitter or a fly bachatero, not a playboy with a million hots on his jock." The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

"In my youth I suffered from too close a proximity to gaming tables of all descriptions, and I watched in horror as Lady Fortune delivered money, sometimes not precisely my own, into another's hands." The Devil's Company by David Liss

"The cops nabbed Santa Claus at the corner of Hollywood and Gower." Try Fear by James Scott Bell

Just for kicks, I'm going to add my own current opening line:

"My mother wept the first time she saw my fiery red curls, for ginger-colored hair marked a sorceress." Diary of Bedlam by Holly West

Does it hold up?

What are some of your favorite opening lines?

2 Replies to “Great Opening Lines”

  1. Elizabeth says: April 8, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I like your opening line, Holly!

  2. Eric Beetner says: April 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    That City of Dragons line I agree is amazing. I did the first line test of a few books in my stack to see what I should read next and that was the winner.
    I like your first line. It intrigues and sets up an immediate POV for the character.

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