Romance By Catherine: Opening Lines

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Opening Lines


Cindy K. Green said...

Ooh great topic Catherine. And I love this video blog format of yours.

I agree--opening lines are very important. I really think them through as I'm polishing up a ms. Okay opening lines. From my new Historical Western--The Heart Never Lies.

Kit McCauley swept a guarded glance over her shoulder and through the doorway of the darkened ranch house. The gentle stillness within confirmed the remaining inhabitants still slept. She faced forward with a bracing breath and proceeded onto the front porch while a knot tightened in the pit of her stomach. Foolish, just plain foolish!

Angel Martinez said...

Oh, wonderful stuff. Yes, absolutely, the opening line is so, so important. So many books go back on the bookstore shelf because I open to the first line and wrinkle my nose.

One of my favorite first lines from my works? Well, I like to start 'in medias res' in the middle of things, and one of my favs is the opener for Finn (coming soon from Red Rose :) )

"The figure crouched on the bridge shocked Diego so thoroughly he drove a hundred yards before he realized what he had seen."

Catherine Bybee said...

Ohhh good one, Cindy. Why, pray tell, does Kit think she's foolish? Exactly what you want your reader to wonder and continue reading to find out.

Catherine Bybee said...

Ahhh Angel... What did he see? *snicker* But then again, I know. Awesome!

Mary Ricksen said...

jI do enjoy the video format on your blog. Very clever. I have watched you a number of times. You have a good video presence.

That opening line has to grab you.

My first line in my first book was
Should she or shouldn't she. From my time travel, Tripping Through Time.

Catherine Bybee said...

Did she? Great line Mary.

Lori LeBonde said...

Great topic. And great top! Love the hint of cleavage, Cathy. ;-)

Hmmm. Opening lines. I'll have to think on that, although there are wonderful examples here already. Nice job, everyone.

Helen Hardt said...

Okay, I love this topic, Catherine, because I have the perfect first line, LOL. Unfortunately, I can't claim it. I only wish I could. And I don't know what book it's from, because I heard about it from another erotic author, and she couldn't remember. All she knew was that it was a historical romance, and it reads (drumroll please...)

My, what a beautiful cock!

And they're talking about a rooster!


Catherine Bybee said...

Lori--- LOL! You crack me up!

Helen--- Too damn funny. You have to remember the name of that book. That was great.

Cari Quinn said...

Great topic, Catherine. And I agree, opening lines are one of the most important parts to crafting a novel.

My opening line(s) for my Urban Fantasy, Damned:

Tonight, she was going to die. But she wouldn’t die a virgin.

Kathy Otten said...

I love your video blog, and while I don't always have time to post a comment I stop and watch when I get a chance. I agree opening lines are important, but I've yet to come up with the ultimate hook.
Anyway here is my opening from my historical western, Between the Lines.

Where is he? Meg Greyson's gaze lit briefly on the face of each man she spotted as she stepped from the stage onto the walk in front of the Spring Creek Stage Depot and Freight Office. Eagerly she sought the one man who most closely matched the description of her fiance'.

Catherine Bybee said...

Oh, Cari, I love virgin opening lines. They say everything.

Kathy-- sad that a woman doesn't even know what her soon to be hubby doesn't look like. LOL. Great job.

Susan Macatee said...

Great topic, Catherine! I loved your video blog!

Here's the opening lines from my time travel romance, Erin's Rebel, to be released from The Wild Rose Press in July.

"Erin Branigan had finally found the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, he'd died over one hundred and forty years ago."

Kaye Manro said...

I don't know how I missed this one when it was first up, but I did. Anyway, I'm here now.

I've blogged about this subject before, because I do love punchy tight opening lines. One of my favorites is:

'Cass Hollister's problems began the day she died.'

And another:

'Conner stood over Nathan's body with warm blood on his hands and cold hate in his heart.'

And then there is always the dialogue opening:

“Oh god, could it really be him?”

I love short and to the point opening lines that make a reader want more.

Catherine Bybee said...

Hi Susan and Kaye...
I love them to the point as well. Great examples.

Christina Phillips said...

OMG I have so much trouble with opening lines. They're so hard, and so important, and they tie me up in knots!!

Aithne Jarretta said...

Hi Catherine,

Love your new video on opening lines. ;o) Sorry about stopping by so late--funky Internet. grrr....

I admit that first lines are very difficult for me. In CONCENTRIC CIRCLES the inspiration of the first line came to me because from an image snitched from photobucket. *vbg*

. . .

The email from Barb popped open presenting the broad shoulders of a hunky naked guy, back turned to the camera, standing under a rushing waterfall of exquisite sensuality.

The interesting thing about this line is it came 3 months AFTER I thought CC was finished. lol!

Thank You for sharing your video blog with the world.


~ Aithne

Donna Marie Rogers said...

I love your video blog, Catherine, such a great idea! And I've always believed a good opening line is important. Though coming up with one sometimes can be real torture...LOL

Here's the opening line for There's Ony Been You from TWRP:

Sara Jamison believed in premonitions about as much as she did the Easter Bunny.

Kim Smith said...

Catherine email me about v-logs i want to know how this is done :)