Wednesday, July 1, 2015


The Internet, as you well know, is a treasure trove of information, some useful, some not so much. Others would characterize it, perhaps, as “trivia,” or even, as has been said about self-published books, “a tsunami of crap.” The latter, however, is way too harsh, especially considering the particular information I had looked up, hoping to learn something useful.

Even more harsh, since these were first lines of famous novels by famous people. I mean, can one criticize the work of such luminaries as Tolstoy, Dickens, Twain, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald?

One thing that surprised me - although perhaps it should not have - was that I found lists of 100 Famous First Lines, or 50 Great First Lines, or 30 Memorable First Lines, and the same books showed up on all of them. Again, perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising. This is a very good collection of first sentences of popular books, and how many can there really be?

Perhaps some day I’ll write a first line that will show up on such a list. Meanwhile, here are some first lines I’ve written that I’m considering using:

“He was going to have her killed, and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it.”

     “Exactly an hour and fifteen minutes after taking off from Los Angeles International Airport, First Officer Reg Humboldt felt the strange vibration.”

“Nothing else equaled the excitement of Churchill Downs during the running of the Kentucky Derby.”

“No one murdered Edward Mason. At least I didn't think so.”

Or maybe not. What first Line have you written that you’re happy with and might put on one of your books?

* * *
Reminder: The e-book of my second novella about Sherlock Holmes, THE SIGN OF FIVE, will be free beginning tomorrow for five days.


  1. Okay, I don't know, but the book, ANGEL'S EYES, I'm editing right now starts:

    The Lioness of Edanistan, Colonel Rebekah Carthage, made a habit of decimating the enemy, until today.

    I toyed with Call me Ismael, but it was already taken.


  2. OBTW, I started a chapter with... She awakened to thunder claps, "it was a dark and stormy night," she laughed.
    Bob again


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