October 17, 2019, 01:54:39 AM

Author Topic: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)  (Read 19705 times)

Offline Idlewilder

Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« on: July 17, 2012, 09:27:05 PM »
To me, the opening line(s) of a novel can be the most important in the book. They can be exciting, sad or even prophetic. I love seeing how authors decide to begin their novel, and that first line/paragraph can be so important.

A personal favourite of mine is this:

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                                    from Stephen King's Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger.

It's far from being my favourite book or even series, but there is something about that line which conjures up such a strong image for me. Some may not find the book to their taste, and I admit it has more than a few faults - but this opening line is one of my favourites regardless.

So what's your favourite opening line(s) in fantasy?
Make Another World.

Offline Francis Knight

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 09:32:51 PM »
The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault - Harry Dresden (I forget which one)

My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/

Offline Jeni

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 09:51:11 PM »
One of my (new) favourites  :D

' As the iron war club scythed towards her head, Yukiko couldn't help wishing she'd listened to her father. '

From Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff


Offline Dan D Jones

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 09:56:39 PM »
Just started this one but the opening line grabbed me right away.  The Darkness That Comes Before, R. Scott Bakker: 

"One cannot raise walls against what has been forgotten."


It's an unwritten law for this discussion - somebody HAS to mention Gibson' s Neuromancer or else the universe will implode from the injustice:

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."





Offline Jeni

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 12:23:22 AM »
A few more that grabbed my attention:

'Nothing ever begins.' = Weaveworld (Clive Barker)

'The magic was breaking free again.' = Songs of the Earth (Elspeth Cooper)

'Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a coldsore under the mistletoe.' = The Stupidest Angel (Christopher Moore)

 :)

Offline Francis Knight

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 01:13:51 AM »
They'd strung up the king with razorwire in the square across the river (an Abnett Warhammer)

On the far western shore of of a northern continent there was a city called Seattle. (Wizard of the pigeons, Lindholm)

the place stank. A queer mingled stench that inly ice cabins of the Antarctic know, compounded of reeking human sweat and the heavy fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. (Campbell, Who Goes There, the basis for the Thing. Never start with the weather etc they say. Unless you do it like this. Atmospheric, claustrophobic. Class.)
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/

Offline DDRRead

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 08:21:24 AM »
Richard K Morgan's the Steel Remains.

Quote
When a man you know to be of sound mind tells you his recently deceased mother has just tried to climb in his bedroom window and eat him, you have two options.

The first line, paragraph, page, etc. is one of the strongest openings to a fantasy I've read.

Offline Elspeth Cooper

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 09:38:58 AM »
'The magic was breaking free again.' = Songs of the Earth (Elspeth Cooper)

*blushes*
The Wild Hunt: Songs of the Earth  |  Trinity Rising  |  The Raven's Shadow  |  The Dragon House

Offline Lionwalker

  • Writer of Twilight Fan Fiction
  • Auror
  • ***
  • Posts: 1111
  • Total likes: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Schmoking Cultist
    • View Profile
Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 09:44:44 AM »
Richard K Morgan's the Steel Remains.

Quote
When a man you know to be of sound mind tells you his recently deceased mother has just tried to climb in his bedroom window and eat him, you have two options.

The first line, paragraph, page, etc. is one of the strongest openings to a fantasy I've read.

Seconded. I remember that grabbing me. I was slightly disappointed by the rest of the book though.
Follow me on Twitter: @_Lionwalker

Offline Gothos

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 10:46:48 AM »
one of my favourites is the opening line from sanderson's way of kings.

'kalak rounded a rocky stone ridge and stumbled to a stop before the body of a dying thunderclast.'

the first time i read this i was so excited to read more. I also have this on audio and listen to the prelude every now and again when i'm bored. The entire scene was one of the best openings to a novel ever.
I saw them on the shores
the deepening pits of their gaze
vowed immortal war
against the sighing calm
of Jaghut seas . . .

Gothos’ Folly
Gothos (b.?)

Offline Noona

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 12:29:13 PM »
Both of my favourites have already been covered, the Dark Tower and The Steel Remains.

I also like
"In a distant and second-hand set of dimensions, on an astral plane that was never meant to fly..." - from The Colour of Magic.

"As always, before the warmind and I shoot each other, I try to make small talk." - from The Quantum Thief.

"Contrary to whatever stories and songs there may be about the subject, there are only a handful of respectable things a man can do after he picks up a sword" - from Tome of the Undergates

"It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow city streets because it is grieved by what it finds there." - from The Magician's Guild

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Elderling
  • *
  • Posts: 5947
  • Total likes: 2588
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile
Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 03:30:51 PM »
It's an unwritten law for this discussion - somebody HAS to mention Gibson' s Neuromancer or else the universe will implode from the injustice:

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."
I liked this one a lot too.

This thread could be a very cool quiz game with others guessing one's quotes. :)

Quote
In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.

Quote
Far out, in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Fairly easy but quite good ones.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Autumn2May

  • Word Mage
  • Administrator
  • Khaleesi
  • ***
  • Posts: 2850
  • Total likes: 29
  • Gender: Female
  • Does the noise in my head bother you?
    • View Profile
    • The Write Way To Type - Writing Blog
Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 03:31:57 PM »

It's an unwritten law for this discussion - somebody HAS to mention Gibson' s Neuromancer or else the universe will implode from the injustice:

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."


I <3 this line. It's perfect.

Offline Bane of Kings

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 03:43:15 PM »
My favourites have already been mentioned, The Quantum Thief and The Dark Tower. And, Brandon Sanderson's The Final Empire.

Quote
"Ash Fell From The Sky"

And, another one, from Horus Rising by Dan Abnett:

Quote
"I was there," he would say afterwards, until afterwards became a time quite devoid of understanding. "I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor."



Offline Idlewilder

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 03:58:37 PM »
Some awesome stuff here!  ;D

Another of my favourites is from one of my absolute favourite books, no question:

"The sunrise was the colour of bad blood."

                                          Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

It just evokes the whole feel of the book in one short sentence. And it's just so Abercrombian. (Yes I have just created a new word, and yes it is awesome)
Make Another World.