I read that an author should make the first line the best. Another book said an author should sum up the entirety of their book in the first line. I thought that was absurd and you couldn’t possibly do both….then I thought of a few, and they were some of the best and well-known lines in literature:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by, Jane Austen
You get several things about this story from this one line. The focus is going to be on marriage and socioeconomic status. This is going to be a satirical piece. The author has witty, dry humor.
”It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” The Bell Jar by, Sylvia Plath
One word: Quirky
One more word: Dark
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
The run on sentence to end all run on sentences.
What’s your favorite first line? Share it in the comments.
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