Dark Days — It Was A Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night is a very famous first line (you can find the history here). Wickeds, what is a favorite first line that you wrote? What book was it in? Do you remember what the inspiration was for that first line? Did it come easily or did you write and rewrite that line?

Julie: First lines are so important, aren’t they? My favorite, so far, is from The Plot Thickets, which won’t be out until next year. “If she was being honest with herself, which she usually was, Lilly Jayne had to admit that her days of slinking around outside peoples’ houses should be well behind her.”

Barb: That is a great one, Julie. For my own books, I have to go with Fogged Inn. “Jule-YA! There’s a dead guy in the walk-in.”

Jessie: I love a great first line! Julie and Barb, yours both grabbed me! My first line of my first novel, Live Free or Die, reads ” Beulah Price’s body looked like a hotdog that had been left on the grill too long.” I still feel a bit sorry to have been so mean to Beulah!

Edith/Maddie: All fabulous, ladies! I am still fond of the first line of my short story, “Just Desserts for Johnny,” which was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story. “She hadn’t planned on killing Johnny Sorbetto at the end of winter. He had promised her so much.”

Liz: Love all of these! I really like the first line of one of my Pawsitively Organic books, Purring Around the Christmas Tree : “The whole night could’ve been straight from a Norman Rockwell painting, if only Santa hadn’t dropped dead in his sleigh as he rode up to light the Frog Ledge Christmas tree.”

Sherry: I love seeing what first line you all loved. I had a hard time deciding. I like the opening to All Murders Final! : “I didn’t expect to start my Saturday with a cup of Dunkin’s coffee and a dead body.” I always like to try something different in my books and with this one I wanted to see what would happen if I dropped the body in the first line.

Readers: Do you have a favorite first line that you’ve read or written?

24 Thoughts

  1. Wow! All the first lines made me want to read more. You’ve inspired me to rework the opening line of my current WIP.

    In Creston Mapes’s book, Nobody, the author captured my attention with this opening line: “I’d seen stiffs at crime scenes before, one flat on his back in the middle of his garage with a twelve-inch meat cleaver sticking straight out of his rib cage like a Halloween prank; self-inflicted to boot.”

  2. My favorite of my own opening lines is from a short story titled “An Assassin in the Family” which I had published long ago.
    “At five foot two and a hundred and seven pounds, Aunt Julie did not look like a hired assassin. Which is probably why she was so good at it.”

  3. I knew when I saw the topic what Barb’s first line was going to be! My favorite from my own books is from It Takes a Coven in my Witch City series. “I was about to take my first bite of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate glaze covered in chocolate cookie crumbs, when I heard that Megan was dead.”

  4. Great lines. I’ll go with the first line from “Fatal Frost,” one of my Laurel Highlands short stories written in the POV of deputy coroner Tom Burns: For most people, phones ringing at five-thirty in the morning are not good.

  5. All of your first lines are intriguing! Thanks to the Wickeds I have read authors that I would not have known about otherwise such as Paula Munier and Kylie Logan. The first line in A Borrowing of Bones by Munier reads: “Grief and guilt are the ghosts that haunt you when you survive what others do not.” Not surprisingly I have read every one of the books in her series twice. And, in The Secret of Bones, Kylie Logan wrote: “Wally the puppy was a nineteen-pound ball of boundless energy with more sass than a three-year-old kid, and more common sense than one, too.” Makes me miss our angel pup this morning. She was such a great judge of character, ball of energy, and loving discerner of need when anyone was down at our house.

  6. Wonderful first limes all the way around, ladies!
    I’m partial to this one, which opens Allie Cobb book 4, A Deadly Discovery.
    “I was born with a gift of observation and a conviction that the world is not as it seems.”

  7. Those are all fabulous first lines! And you know I love a good first line.

    One of my favorites comes from Stuart Gibbs (who has had some fabulous first lines).

    As Greg clung to the outside of the jail wall, he realized just how much he hated time travel.

    1. You do love first lines. I love your First Line Facebook page because it has great examples of wonderful first lines! The Stuart Gibbs line draws you right in!

  8. I still like “Call me Ishmael.” Moby Dick. Simple. Very much to the point and it is even a visual nudge.

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