Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dramatic Openings

If you want to grab your reader (or agent, or publisher) you need to have a really amazing and dramatic opening line. And you can't get more dramatic than the death of your main character.

Here's a selection:

"I had never given much thought to how I would die." (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)
"The children were playing while Holsten climbed to his death." (Wool by Hugh Howey)
"Elspeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup." (Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - the backliner shows that Elspeth is a major character)
"This is the story of how I died." (Disney's Tangled and Rose's opening line in a climactic episode of Doctor Who)

So I'm delighted to say that even before I discovered this fact I had written the opening line of Emon and the Emperor: "I had drowned before."

What other dramatic opening lines can you recall? Have you read any other books which kill off the main character on the first page?


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you get to see Munk (detective series) in the UK, but I loved it. It always began with a really gruesome murder . . . a creative death. It does suck one in.

Lynn Gardner said...

Definitely an attention getter, Anna!