While I don’t know if I’d go as far as science fiction author Madeleine L’Engle, who believed that the opening of every book should hold at least the seed of its resolution, first lines do give writers a chance to “hook” readers with a compelling mood, a unique voice, or a startling image. For me, the first line of a novel or story is also my own doorway into the piece, even if, as so often happens, it doesn’t survive past the rough draft.
So here’s the first line of “Blondes From Pasadena,” a story I’ve just drafted. Since I initially work long-hand, and then revise at least a little as I type the chicken scratch into a Word document, this actually at the “second draft” stage. Whether it will continue to hold the honored position of first line through future incarnations…who knows?
“Lulu Esquival’s eighteen years of training in lyrical dance had given her grace, poise and excellent posture, none of which rescued her during her first shift frying fish bits at The Happy Clam.”
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about the late Madeleine L’Engle, a prolific author of speculative fiction from middle-grade through adult, here’s her website http://www.madeleinelengle.com/
I also dedicated all of Issue #24 of Carrie’s Notebook, my newsletter, to Madeleine L’Engle, her work, and her influence on me as a reader and a writer. You can find that issue HERE.