Can you feel my words wrapping around your neck, a noose of meaning pushing against your trachea, focusing your attention on their very existence and how they have taken your breath away?
The opening line of any writing is very important. With mysteries, it can also immediately create suspense or just be wicked good fun.
The first sentence can establish an instant connection with the reader. Take Pari Noskin Taichert‘s beginning in The Socorro Blast:
If hell exists, it’s filled with old boyfriends…and a cat.
Just from those 11 words, I bought the book!
Wayne Arthurson began Fall From Grace with:
“Do you want to see the body?”
The speaker of these words is not identified in this first line. So a reader wants to know who is saying this. Yes, I’m taking it for granted we mystery lovers were expecting a body, and frankly are delighted to have found one so soon! Wayne earned bonus points with me, because, having read the book, I know these words actually drive a great deal of the plot, suspense and character. Who can resist wanting to read more?
Your challenge, should you choose to rise to it….Find and post a gripping first line from a mystery.
I encourage all of our team to rally around good examples or razz any weak ones. Deadline is June 27th.
With this dare, I hereby relax the verbal rope snaked about you. As your heart pounds and your lungs fill, remember the thrill. Go forth and seek it anew!