Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by That Artsy Reader Girl
I play this game when I’m reading a book – I try to guess what the first paragraph the author wrote is. As a writer myself, I presume what becomes the opening line isn’t how the first draft began, but I always wonder where the original kernel is buried. I suppose I’ll never know the answer, but that’s fine.
These are some of my favorite first sentences of books.
It began on a train, heading north through England, although I was soon to discover that the story had really begun more than a hundred years earlier. – The Prestige, Christopher Priest
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. – I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn’s for an oyster supper. – The Meaning of Night, Michael Cox
After the thing was all over, when peril had ceased to loom and happy endings had been distributed in heaping handfuls and we were driving home with our hats on the side of our heads, having shaken the dust of Steeple Bumpleigh from our tyres, I confessed to Jeeves that there had been moments during the recent proceedings when Bertram Wooster, though no weakling, had come very nearly to despair. – Joy in the Morning, P.G. Wodehouse
This is the story of what a Woman’s patience can endure, and what a Man’s resolution can achieve. – The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
Fingers of lightning tore holes in the black skies as an angry cloudburst drenched the surrealistic landscape. – The Mothman Prophecies, John A. Keel
The eastern section of old Peking has been dominated since the fifteenth century by a looming watchtower, built as part of the Tartar Wall to protect the city from invaders. Known as the Fox Tower, it was believed to be haunted by fox spirits, a superstition that meant the place was deserted at night. – Midnight in Peking, Paul French
Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. – The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. – The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. – Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
The ship was spotted March 21, 1860—Wednesday, four hours before dawn—by the crew of the J. R. Mather, a schooner hauling molasses to Philadelphia. – The Last Pirate of New York, Rich Cohen
Do you have any favorite opening lines?