Sometimes

When I’m washing the dishes, I think of first lines of novels. The one that keeps coming up is, “One day a dog sat on my face.”

This is a very good line for many reasons:

A. It could work in many genres. Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Memoir, etc. etc.

B. It immediately introduces a problem.

C. We already know the MC has some personal problems.

We have talked a lot on this blog about the importance of first lines. Tonight, as my kids run around naked after their bath, I am going to discuss why I think this is especially important for this week’s contest. First of all, you have very few words to do a lot of things. As usual, you have to create a complex, interesting character. Second, you have to have a conflict that we care about. And then, as per the contest, you have to set the whole thing in a world where all is not right. Your first line can be a great friend for doing all this.

The first line is it sets the mood. Like this one from FEED:

We went to to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.

Here we have a problem. We have a voice. We have a character. And we have the moon.

Not all dystopian novels start out with such a blatant setting cue, but you don’t have a lot of room for this contest. You have to do your work and do it quickly. What are some of your favorite dystopian novels? Do you remember any first lines?

I’m not going to lie, like Carol said, dystopian is very very hard for me. I’ve tried it and I’ve failed. Miserably. I’m in awe of people who do it well. For that reason I am very excited to see this week’s entries. Good luck and happy writing!

OH and lest I forget, the winner this week of the P@H is A. Muse or in other words, Ms. Renae Salisbury. Yay!

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7 Comments

Filed under First Line, giveaways

7 responses to “Sometimes

  1. rbs

    Hi Ann Dee – not to be a pest, but have you drawn out the winner for the “play-at-home” folks? Or did I miss the announcement as it was not buried between lines. I don’t want you to think I’m hovering on the brink of collapse waiting for the “also-ran” prize because I am rarely a winner of drawings or anything else for that matter. But it is kinda nice to even qualify for the drawing.

    Hugs, R.

  2. So funny. I forgot to post the winner and look who it is!

  3. Alright, Anndee, you should write that book. If that was the first sentence, I would totally keep reading. 🙂

  4. Why do I suddenly feel like Meryl Streep?

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