“It was a dark and stormy night.” That is the classic opening line of the novel, Paul Clifford, published in 1830 by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Often this sentence is mocked as being over the top or melodramatic.
“Last night I dreamt of Manderley again.” From Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and is often not thought of as setting the story up as a flashback.So what is a hook? That’s usually the first line, or the opening line, in a story that is so compelling, the reader is hooked and keeps reading.
Sometimes, the first line is dialogue. Sometimes, not. Sometimes, the main character is in action and the story takes off with a bang. Sometimes, not. Whichever the hook is, this is the author’s opportunity to draw a reader in and ultimately, the reader will continue on reading way past bedtime into the wee hours.
Like you, I've picked up a book, flipped to the first page and read a little. That first part is what snagged me into wanting more.
I asked the Plotting Princesses to share the first three opening lines of their stories. Have fun!