October 23, 2019, 01:07:34 AM

Author Topic: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)  (Read 19737 times)

Offline thisbigblack

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2014, 12:34:59 AM »
"Nyx Sold her womb somewhere between Punjai and Faleen, on the edge of the desert."  -Kameron Hurley, God's War

I've bought everything she's written from this point!

Her newest one is pretty damn good as well.  "When Lilia was four years old, her mother filled a shallow dish with Lilia's blood and fed it to the boars that patrolled the thorn fence."  Kameron Hurley, The Mirror Empire.  This line ruined my vacation as all I wanted to do from this point forward was drop everything and read this book.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 12:38:31 AM by thisbigblack »

Offline Overlord

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2014, 08:39:30 AM »
"Nyx Sold her womb somewhere between Punjai and Faleen, on the edge of the desert."  -Kameron Hurley, God's War

I've bought everything she's written from this point!

Her newest one is pretty damn good as well.  "When Lilia was four years old, her mother filled a shallow dish with Lilia's blood and fed it to the boars that patrolled the thorn fence."  Kameron Hurley, The Mirror Empire.  This line ruined my vacation as all I wanted to do from this point forward was drop everything and read this book.

Everything Kameron writes is 'powerful' and full of intrigue - those lines are perfect examples :)
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Offline Overlord

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2014, 01:48:14 PM »
Because I feel this thread deserves maximum exposure, I've turned it into an article for the front page :)

http://fantasy-faction.com/2014/perfect-beginnings

Please keep 'em coming :)
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2014, 02:39:12 PM »
Sometimes I do feel I belong to a different race.
Opening lines do nothing for me, when compared to quotes picked from the middle of the book.
I don't know if it's because I dive quickly into the deep end, so the "beginning", for me, may be the first page, or the first couple of pages, or even the first chapter - or if it's because I take some time to "feel comfortable" with a story or a character and start caring.

I can think of several 'middle of the book' quotes I quite like, some I love, but I can't remember a single opening line.
 :-\
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #49 on: October 05, 2014, 11:05:27 PM »
Sometimes I do feel I belong to a different race.
Opening lines do nothing for me, when compared to quotes picked from the middle of the book.
I don't know if it's because I dive quickly into the deep end, so the "beginning", for me, may be the first page, or the first couple of pages, or even the first chapter - or if it's because I take some time to "feel comfortable" with a story or a character and start caring.

I can think of several 'middle of the book' quotes I quite like, some I love, but I can't remember a single opening line.
 :-\
Not even in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit?
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Yora

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2014, 11:49:16 PM »
Seeing an author come up with a snappy first sentence is nice. There are lots of great ones here.

But I think in the context of the whole novel opening sentences are pretty much irrelevant. For the first page, and often several pages after that, you're still trying to figure out what the scene is and why you should care about anything of this. And lots of writers seem to have great fun of making the figuring out of these things as complicated and nebulous as possible to keep the reader in a state of helpless confusion for as long as they can get away with. What exactly the first sentence was is immediately forgotten.

It's only on the second or third reading that you can actually take proper note of the first sentence at all, or when someone points out to you in advance that it's of particular interest and you specifically look out for it and take a moment to think about it instead of continuing to read the story.

The only line that really caught me on first reading was "Here the story begins" in The City of Dreaming Books, and that's because immediately after that sentence the narrator goes into an extensive monolog about how great an opening line it is and why it's one of the greatest pieces of writing advice he ever got.
In a way, it could be regarded as a parody of the idea of opening lines, while still exploiting it unapologetically. (Basically the whole book works like that: Poking fun at itself and literature in general while at the same time showcasing how cliched elements can still be used effectively.)

Offline Saraband

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2014, 01:02:06 AM »
I'm not that good at memorizing ANY lines, opening or otherwise. One of the few that has stuck with me, for no reason that I can identify, is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice:

Quote
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

In Fantasy, there are a handful of sentences from Mark Lawrence which I love, but I can remember no single opening line from any book  :(
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2014, 07:56:39 AM »
Not even in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit?

Well, I can tell where that comes from ;D but only because of the key word. No, I didn't remember it.
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Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #53 on: October 06, 2014, 10:35:48 AM »
I'm not sure if I've already posted in here or not, but here are a few of my favourites:

Cheating slightly with the beautiful and weird opening paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House (I think that little "not sane" insert might just make it the most chilling opener to a book ever)

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."


The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, Stephen King

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


Watership Down, Richard Adams

"The primroses were over."


The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."


Good Omens, Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

"It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn't been invented yet."


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Offline stevenpoore

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2014, 11:31:42 AM »
With The Dark Tower, The Crow Road, et al accounted for, howsabout:
"It was a pleasure to burn." - Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
"First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys." - Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury.
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Offline ladybritches

Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2014, 10:29:47 PM »
"Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield carried her names with ease." ~ from Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill.

Offline xiagan

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #56 on: October 20, 2014, 10:54:42 AM »
I think there are opening lines we really only appreciate after we know the story/read the book. Lines that we notice on a reread or if we check them after finishing the book. This is one of them in my opinion:

in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit?

Others are powerful the first time and just draw you in, like this one:

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Elfy

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #57 on: October 20, 2014, 11:23:09 PM »
I think there are opening lines we really only appreciate after we know the story/read the book. Lines that we notice on a reread or if we check them after finishing the book. This is one of them in my opinion:

in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit?

Others are powerful the first time and just draw you in, like this one:

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."
Both of those are quite good, but I find the hobbit one almost perfect for a number of reasons. It sets the scene, it makes you wonder what is a hobbit? Why does it live in a hole in the ground? And that keeps you reading to find out the answer to those two questions at least.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #58 on: October 21, 2014, 10:01:20 AM »
I think there are opening lines we really only appreciate after we know the story/read the book. Lines that we notice on a reread or if we check them after finishing the book. This is one of them in my opinion:

in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit?

Others are powerful the first time and just draw you in, like this one:

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."
Both of those are quite good, but I find the hobbit one almost perfect for a number of reasons. It sets the scene, it makes you wonder what is a hobbit? Why does it live in a hole in the ground? And that keeps you reading to find out the answer to those two questions at least.

I also like the feeling you get coming back to the first line of The Hobbit after you've read it and The Lord of the Rings - such a simple line starting such an epic story.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Your Favourite Opening Line(s)
« Reply #59 on: October 21, 2014, 11:37:53 PM »
I think there are opening lines we really only appreciate after we know the story/read the book. Lines that we notice on a reread or if we check them after finishing the book. This is one of them in my opinion:

in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit?

Others are powerful the first time and just draw you in, like this one:

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."
Both of those are quite good, but I find the hobbit one almost perfect for a number of reasons. It sets the scene, it makes you wonder what is a hobbit? Why does it live in a hole in the ground? And that keeps you reading to find out the answer to those two questions at least.

I also like the feeling you get coming back to the first line of The Hobbit after you've read it and The Lord of the Rings - such a simple line starting such an epic story.
And also when you read the subtitle of The Hobbit, There and Back Again. Again a very simple, but accurate way, of describing an epic journey.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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