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Not-so-Famous First Lines

Monday, April 9, 2007

Having looked at first lines from some published novels, I decided to go through and pull first lines from some of my work—I tried to find everything for which I’d actually written first lines, going back as far as what I could find on my computer. Writing first chapters has never been my strong-suit, so I don’t have a lot of them to represent more than 20 years of writing. But here goes (in chronological order) . . .

Constance was shopping with Sarah Reed for fabric for Sarah’s trousseau. They were in the Mercantile, and heard the bell on the door ring, to signal the store owner that someone was entering.
–Unnamed historical romance (unfinished, 1987)

Arielle raced the horse out of the castle. No one questioned her, for although she was dressed in peasants’ garb, no one in the whole country of Ingelheim had hair the color of hers.
–Unnamed Fantasy/Medieval romance (unfinished, 1990)

Her hand shook as she reached for the doorknob. The tremble started at her fingertips, then worked its way up through her hand, wrist, and arm until it finally reached her heart.
A Shared Dream (uncompleted project of over 200,000 words, 1992–2002)

He literally knocked me off my feet the first night that I met him.
–Unnamed contemporary romance (unfinished, 1994)

Rory tossed the newspaper into the blazing fire and reveled in how quickly the pages turned to ash. He was sick and tired of being the subject of the sports columnist’s imagination.
–Unnamed contemporary romance (unfinished, 1994)

The aftermath of the battle was like something out of Charleton’s worst nightmare—except that his nightmares had never been this bad . . .yet.
–Untitled Civil War–period novel (unfinished, 1994)

The day of the funeral was bright and sunny, not unusual for January in Louisiana.
–Unnamed contemporary romance (unfinished, 1996)

It was love at first sight. For me, anyway. I knew from the first time that I laid eyes on him that I would love him for the rest of my life. Of course, it’s hard to convince anyone of that when you’re six years old.
–Three sentences in an “ideas” folder (2001)

Iliana searched the stands until she saw him. The crowd he hung out with wasn’t hard to locate. They were the group at the far end of the bleachers laughing and yelling taunts toward the football players as the athletes left the gymnasium to the cheers of the student body.
–prologue of Prodigal Comes Home (unfinished, 2001)

Emma’s heart swelled with the violins as she floated across the parquet floor. Her imagination had never concocted a scene as absolutely perfect as this. The only problem was tomorrow she would be boarding a plane for home.
–prologue of First Love (unfinished, 2001)

Andrew held the directions in one hand and steered with the other. He should turn around— he’d probably passed the turn-off already.
What Matters Most (completed 2002)

“This is Hannah.” Hannah McCready-English pulled a notepad closer and took a pen out of the black organizer on her desk. She hoped this was the call she’d been waiting for.
The Best Laid Plans (completed 2003)

The heavy box shifted in Kevin Patterson’s grip and he hurried into the office before it dropped, sliding it onto the credenza just as he lost his grip on the cardboard.
Second Chances (completed 2004)

TV Producers seek mature, single woman in mid-30s for role of House Mother to fifteen young women for new reality show. Some counseling experience helpful. Must be willing to relocate to New Mexico for three months.
House Mother (contemporary romance story idea, 2006)

Nothing like running late to make a wonderful first impression.
Stand-In Groom (completed 2006, Published by Barbour Publishing January 2009)

Captain William Ransome held his stance as the freshly scrubbed deck rolled with the gentle rhythm of the harbor under his feet.
Ransome’s Honor (completed 2007)

“Happy New Year!”
 Her thirty-fourth New Year and still no kiss at the stroke of midnight . . . or any other day or time.
Menu for Romance (WIP, 2007)

Thin rays of sunlight filtered through the trees covering the eastern bluff on the other side of the valley.
Peace in the Valley (WIP, 2007)

  1. Monday, April 9, 2007 6:49 am

    Oh, fun post! This is actually kinda weird, ’cause this morning on the drive in I was mulling over my favorite last lines of books (ones I’ve read, not written, LOL).


  2. Monday, April 9, 2007 10:49 am

    Kaye, loved the one about “love at first sight.” Made me laugh.


  3. Monday, April 9, 2007 11:05 am

    Many of them sounded interesting. I think I’d read HAPPY ENDINGS or PRODIGAL COMES HOME first.


  4. Monday, April 9, 2007 3:41 pm

    “Of course, it’s hard to convince anyone of that when you’re six years old.”

    Totally liked this one!


  5. Monday, April 9, 2007 9:32 pm

    I loved these. I loved seeing how your writing has grown over the years. Happy Endings was my favorite one, with A Major Event a close second.



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