The first sentence is arguably the most important part of any book. So what is it that makes a good first sentence?
Authors use many different techniques to create a great first sentence and these vary from bizarre to simply captivating. A good number 1 line gets the reader interested in carrying on. I can't imagine there are many people that get bored after that one initial sentence and decide to give up on the book but all the same, that sentence grips the reader and gives them a small sense of what is to come.
I personally believe that the most effective 1st sentence is a one that doesn't always make the most sense and grips you into asking what exactly is going on.
Quick quiz. How well do you know your opening sentences. Answer in the comments below. Book title and author.
Ready? Here goes?
1. "The young boys came early to the hanging."
2. "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
3. "Call me Ishmael."
4. "It was the day my grandmother exploded."
5. "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day."
6. "The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane."
7. "Marley was dead, to begin with."
8. "The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it."
See if you can get them all. Remember, no googling!
M. W. Rowe