(Make sure you scroll on through the comments for more great first lines.)
So, bearing in mind the immortal words of Sam Seaborn (“Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright.”) here are some selected opening lines for you, gentle reader.
First, I love these two, from the American Book Review’s 100 Best Opening Lines:
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” – William Gibson, Neuromancer
“You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.” – Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Travler
And some personal favorites:
“It was a dark and stormy night.” – Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
“The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed sub-category.” – Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
“The Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-Sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green, saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below.” – Dan Simmons, Hyperion
“Barrabas came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy.” – Isabel Allende, House of the Spirits
“Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.” – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
And for sheer quantity of melodrama-flavored awesomesauce, it doesn’t get any better than this:
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.” -Stephen King, The Gunslinger
Finally, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to show you the (latest) opening line from my Work-In-Progress:
“Autumn was early to class, something she couldn’t remember ever happening before.”
Do you have a favorite opening line? A least favorite? Comment away!