Friday, February 04, 2011

On the Road Today With First Lines

I'm guest blogging over at Routines for Writers today talking about first lines and why I wrote mine the way I did. So if you're interested in what makes a great first line and what to think about to make your first lines sing, pop on over and take a peek.

I haven't forgotten abut Find Your Plot Fridays, and that'll be up later this morning. 


  1. Hi Janice,

    I recently found your blog and am loving it. Every entry keeps me thinking, plotting, and planning about how to make my book better - which is wonderful. So thanks for the awesome blog.

    I read your post at Routines for Writers and had a question for you. Like you, I can't seem to start a book without getting that first line down. So I'm curious, is the beginning line the first thing you write when beginning a story? I'll sometimes draft scenes that I know will be in the story, but I can't seem to piece anything together until I get the opening solidified. How does it work for you?
    (And if you've already answered this in a previous post I apologize for not looking thoroughly enough).


  2. Thanks, Jane, and welcome to the blog! I write chronologically, but I sometimes make notes on scenes I have in my head for later, or I'll get an idea for a line or two of dialog. I need to know where my protag's head is at emotionally when they start a scene or I don't know what's driving them. I've found I can't do that if I jump around. I do, however, have friends who write out of order and it works very well for them.

  3. Great post on your first line! I took a jaunt over and read it. I'm like you--I CANNOT continue writing until I have that first line down. Later on I may tweak one or two words, but usually it has to be 98% formed before I can move on with the story. And hey, I like your chicken stealing intro! Nice. :) Have a great weekend.

  4. I think I work in reverse. Usually I need a solid climax to work towards before I can really start. Your post does make me realise that I often neglect the importance of the opening lines in my work, though.

  5. Carol: Thanks! You, too.

    Paul: I never did until a conference several years ago, then it all clicked for me. One of those major light bulb moments. I do need to know at least a general ending before I can start plotting a story, though. And then I'll have to rewrite it at least twice :)