Opening Lines Gail Loves

Opening lines are a tricky business for us writers, Gentle Reader. I had cause to dive into some of my favorite books in order to research great opening lines recently. (Mostly as a means of abject procrastination.)

Here are a few I tracked down:
So those are all pure fantasy, a couple are retellings of fairy stories, generally comedic, and two are written for young adults.
Those are both my kind of high fantasy, sword & sorcery adventures, note they start with action and they feature strong female main characters and a nice dose of romance.
OK, above we have three sci-fi. The first is a hard-hitting dystopian YA, the second a survivor in space saga, and the last is military SF.
You can tell that both of these are going to involve doctors as main characters: the first is a romance fantasy and the second a space opera.
This last set is a mishmash, urban fantasy and historical fantasy, just because they're two of my favorite genres.

There seem to be some trends in opening lines. Mind you, I refuse to put this under scientific study, so this is all wild speculation. Most SF/F authors opt to start with setting or character description. I'd say this is the hardest and most challenging way to begin. You really have to write description exceedingly well to pull in a reader's attention in this age of short attention spans. As a reader, I rarely stick with a book if it opens with paragraphs of description. Which brings me round to that small pocket of authors who lean in favor of opening with dialogue. I like this, and do it often myself. More recent works launch with an action sequence, needless to say, I like this as well, but it can be kind of a cop-out.

So, what about you, Gentle Reader, favorite opening lines? ("Best of times, worst of times" doesn't count.)

Or how about great favorite books with awful starts to them?

"Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening."
~ Soulless opening line


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Swift and Roe

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Oven Mitt as Bubble Wrap?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Baby Got Back...Story

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. Waiting on copy edits.
Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second.  Out now!  
~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Out now! 
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.

The Books!

The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Boxed set of all five!
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2 (book 2), Soulless Vol. 3 (book 3)
The Finishing School Series: Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies
 $0.99 ebook only short stories: Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, and Fairy Debt

Book News:
Sony ebook store has Gail Carriger's 5 Spunkiest Females in Fiction.

Quote of the Day:
"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great."
~ Les Brown

quotes Gail likes

Goodreads Quotes

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