Three Ways to a Killer Opening Line
By Diane O’Connell When you first crack open a new novel, there’s so much riding on that first sentence. I know it sounds a bit extreme, but hear me out — aren’t opening lines that immediately pull you into the novel’s story world so much more invigorating and intriguing than lackluster ones? A powerful and utterly interesting opening line can not only draw readers into your novel, but also hint at the overarching themes your work explores in a deep and lasting way. Here are 3 ways to open your novel: 1. It was the day my grandmother exploded. Did you just ask yourself, “What? Often, the best of these jolting lines have short, choppy syntax, or contain phrases that are downright confusing to readers (like the one above). 2. “Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.” Gorgeous, almost poetic prose can sweep readers into your novel’s setting, as this opening line does here. A vibrant opening like this also sets the tone for the rest of the novel. 3.