Some of My Favorite Opening Lines in Novels

While editing the first chapter of Caught Inside and playing around with various options for the opening line, I got to thinking about some of my favorite novel beginnings. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the lines that have left a lasting impression on me, regardless of whether or not the book itself lived up to its promise. So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 favorite opening lines:

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The Key to Writing a Great First Chapter

As I begin to sink up to my neck in editing what will be my debut novel, two things are becoming abundantly clear. Firstly, the process of whipping my manuscript into the sort of shape that won’t have me cringing in embarrassment at my ineptitude as a writer will be a painful one, and will doubtless see me committed to a psychiatric ward before I’m done. Secondly, no part of my story will test my patience or my sanity nearly so much as the opening chapter.

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The Daunting Task of Editing a Novel

Well, I’ve done it. The first draft of Caught Inside, my very first attempt at a novel and Book 1 in my Boys on the Brink series, is complete at around 85,000 words. Hooray! The process of writing it hasn’t always been easy. When I started, I only had the vaguest outline of where the plot was headed, and one of the main storylines didn’t resolve itself until I was around two thirds of the way in. Still, I got there in the end, and I have to say it feels amazing!

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My First Rejection: What I’ve Learned About Submitting to Anthologies

All right, so it’s happened. I’ve hit that important milestone, and received the first ever rejection letter of my writing career, this one for a short work I put forward for an anthology a couple of months back. Moreover, in the hours since the publisher’s email arrived in my inbox, I’ve reached a better understanding as to the challenges associated with submitting to collections.

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My Heartfelt Plea to Reviewers: Don’t Back Down

Okay, as you may have gathered, I’m about to throw in my few pennies’ worth over the recent uproar concerning Goodreads and a certain self-published author in the m/m romance genre. I’m not, however, using this space to name names or cast stones. For one thing, the topic has already been debated widely across various social networks, and others have said it far better than I ever could. For another, authors who stoop so low as to create fake Goodreads profiles with the intention of shouting down any reviewer who dares give them less than a perfect rating, don’t need my help in sabotaging their careers. They’ll manage that all by themselves.

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New Year, Fresh Start

I don’t normally approach the end of the year with a sense of relief. In the case of 2013, however, I was heartily glad to see the back of it.

The second half of last year was especially tough, what with my granddad’s death, followed almost immediately by me being diagnosed with mild depression. Neither was exactly a shock. My granddad was told he had lung cancer the previous year, and we all knew he wasn’t going to get better. It was just a matter of time. As for the depression, it runs in the family, with my granddad, dad, and brother all having been diagnosed before me. All the same, occurring so close together, the two events knocked me back significantly.

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