A lot can be expected from the first sentence of a novel. You want to capture the reader right off the bat and draw them into the story; not wait two or three chapters to get the momentum going and hope the reader sticks along. But it’s not the easiest thing to come out with a first sentence so dynamic it will knock the reader’s socks off. As I writer, when I’m starting a new story I always think about what I want the reader’s first foray into my novel to be like, the first sentence can definitely set the tone, and you want it to be the right tone. There can be too much pressure put on how to start a novel, but it gets easier the more you write. There was a time when I thought starting with dialogue was a good idea because you were starting in the character’s voice, but I no longer think that’s the best way to start a story.
I thought it would be fun to look back at all of my novels and their first lines, and share them, not because I think they are all knock out stellar, but because I think it’s a good way to show a little bit of my writing evolution. I'll start with my first book and end with Affairs of the Dead.
Shadow Realm - The night was midnight black.
Devil’s Night – The slap of her bare feet against the ground stirred up soft echoes that cried out to the cold, empty night as she walked
Sanguinarius – It was a forest of black dreams.
Nyt – If he finds me now I deserve to die, Kymora said to herself as she stared at the dilapidated building in front of her, hoping it only looked like crap for the purposes of being inconspicuous.
Seasons of Magick – “Now you’ve come to help me?”
Broken Nyt – Everyone get down here now!
Nyt III – Even with her mother’s arms tight around her, Kymora could hardly believe she was standing here with her
Black Eden – “I have a clear shot.”
Blood Cherry – “Well Christine, your medical history looks good.”
Wasteland Rhapsody – “You lose and still want a kiss?”
Graveyard Phoenix – "Mrs. Tillar, if you spill the canister of blood before I begin the resurrection, it will be a wasted night for all of us."
Ravenous Dusk – The room was spinning, no wait, maybe I was the one spinning.
Ravishing Midnight – After a three month leave I was looking forward to going back to work, even though that involved dealing with demon politics that made being stuck between a rock and a hard place look like a vacation paradise.
Immortal Unrest – In less than twelve hours I’d be embarking on a career where following the rules was an absolute requirement, and here I was breaking the rules for the sake of that career.
Trickster’s Renegade – Days like this made me regret my decision to open a deity trinket shop instead of a liquor store.
Black Widow Witch – Today was the anniversary of the worst day of my life, and I was trying to forget about it by consuming a vast amount of alcohol.
Affairs of the Dead – I was in a strip club trying to help a ghost get laid, which was challenging, but not impossible.