There are authors who have such fantastic first lines that they grab reader’s interest from the very first line. Take Jeffrey Eugenides for example:
“On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope,” (from The Virgin Suicides).
Or, there’s Cheryl Strayed’s first sentence from Wild:
“The trees were tall, but I was taller, standing above them on a steep mountain slope in northern California. Moments before, I’d removed my hiking boots and the left one had fallen into those trees, first catapulting into the air when my enormous backpack toppled onto it, then skittering across the gravelly trail and flying over the edge.”
But it isn’t the first sentences that made these books bestsellers, it was the author’s ability to hook readers and keep them hooked. If a writer wants a writing career, we need to practice the craft of both hooking and keeping; it’s not about the one-night stand, it’s about the relationship.
(6 secrets to creating and sustaining suspense.)
When I wanted to write an essay about my difficult relationship with my brother I had to figure out a way to make it interesting to other people, so I turned to these 10 elements to keep the story rolling. Read the full article…