Since I’m not a creative writer, I can’t dispense writing tips with any authority. As a literary agent though, I have to take beginnings seriously. For me the first line is the most important sentence in the book. Editors are very busy people and receive stacks of manuscripts every day. If they get turned off by a clumsy first line, they are likely to cast a cold eye on the rest of the manuscript.
So here are a few of my random thoughts on this subject focusing on some illustrious examples.
This first line is always at the top of the list. The most famous first line in all of literature. So what’s so great about it, anyway? I thought about that today and decided that it was overrated, that it is one of those things that people think is great (more…)