Monday, April 29, 2013

18 Memorable Openings by Cecilia Robert

Hi Everyone, I am over at the Enchanted Inkpot today with a post about free online tools and tips for plot development and getting over writer's block. Please stop by and say hello once you've finished the guest post below from Celia Robert.

Happy writing,


In most cases, our senses lead the way for us, letting us know if something is worth our attention or not. This goes for the first lines of stories as well. The key to having a great first line is to hook the reader and have him/her turn page after page. It acts as an appetizer. It can help set up the tone of the book and describe where the story is taking place. It is always a good idea to open that first line with the main character in order to familiarize the reader. The best advice I can give anyone is write a line that instantly grabs the reader, makes him/her curious, and leaves an impression. Something memorable. This doesn’t mean hitting the reader with an action scene at the beginning, and then two paragraphs later make them wonder what happened all of a sudden.

Some of my favourite first lines:

I greeted his tombstone the way I always did—with a swift kick. ~COLORS LIKE MEMORIES by Meradeth Houston

This line drew me in. I was curious to know why she kicked someone’s tombstone. The mood I found on this one was maybe the character was frustrated, but I wanted to know why.

It was the biggest night of my life, but all I could think about was my cheetah bra. ~BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler

I loved this one because of the contrast between it being the biggest night of the character’s life and her cheetah bra. I really wanted to know why she was looking for it. And besides, the comparison between life and bra made me smile.

It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. ~DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

This opening had me curious. I knew that this book was about love, but that it is declared a disease had my curiosity meter rolling. Why would love, one of the strongest emotions of all, be declared a disease?

What do you think about first lines of the novel? Do you have any memorable ones?

About the Author

Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, anything romantic, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.

Cecilia's Blog
Follow Cecilia on Twitter

About the Book

17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents, good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.

Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance. It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice: save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.

Buy Reaper's Novice on Amazon
Find Reaper's Novice on Goodreads


  1. Whoa, this sound like a great read! Glad you told me about it. It's going on my TBR list!

  2. I actually like the cover a lot the color swirling around her. Sounds pretty cool too.

  3. Hopping over, Martina.

    Cecilia's cover is gorgeous! Love the colors.

  4. Ha! I especially love that first one!! that's my kind of line. :D

    1. True, Lisa. That first line sold the story for me. loved it. :)

  5. Thanks for the shout-out! Seriously appreciate it!

    1. Thank YOU. :) That line is one of my favourites, Meradeth. Really enjoyed the story as well.

  6. Hi, Cecilia,
    I agree that first lines need to bring up questions that need answers and so grab readers' attention.

    The blurb makes me wonder too who Ana Maria is.

    J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit

    1. I completely agree with you, J.L.

      Ana has a few surprises coming her way in this one!:)

  7. Thank you for hosting me, Martina! :)

  8. First lines are certainly important in hooking a reader. Sparking that curiosity, that need to know, is part of the reader's need to keep on turning the pages.


  9. I guess Toni Morrison's first line of Paradise, "They shoot the white girl first." has to be right up there at the top of any list of great first lines. Fun topic.

    1. Oh, how could I have missed that definitely hit my curiosity meter when I first saw the book at the library a while back. Great one, Rosi! :)

  10. I love, love, love Sarah Ockler's books, and that opening line is classic. And it's a great illustration of the difference one little conjunction can make. How different would it be to open with:

    It was the biggest night of my life, all all I could think about was my cheetah bra.


    It was the biggest night of my life, but all I could think about was my cheetah bra.

    As you said, it's the contrast that pulls me in.

    Great post, Cecilia! Thanks so much for doing it for us. We've loved having you on the blog!


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)