Don't we all remember the above famous opening line of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?
Many authors manage to grab the attention of their readers right from the opening lines of their book.
Some begin with a fascinating opening line; some others have a magnificent first paragraph.
Before I buy any book, I read the first paragraph/ page of the book. I know many others who do this as well.
As a writer, we can always try and follow this technique. I usually work on it during the final edit of my manuscript.
Many of my author friends emphasize the importance they place on a great opening line as well.
Let us check some examples from some famous works. These are my personal favorites.
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
~Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
“In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”
~ Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
So, are you ready to work on your opening lines?
I hope these examples have managed to convince you.