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July 20, 2017

Hook and Reel You In! Hooking a Reader #wantingtoreadmore #greatlinesfrombooks #RLFBlog

“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!
Temporarily Insane: “Stop it, Hattie!” Trixie had some nerve. Her reprimand, the one which skewered a stabbing pain to my right eye, sounded terribly out of character, like she had little patience for me. Find Temporarily Insane at: Amazon
Demon Cursed: My stomach slams into a metal railing as surgically enhanced double D’s press into my back. Cheap beer soaks my arm. A not-so-feminine yell shatters my eardrums. Amazon
Saving Hope: Alexandra Pavlova jolted upright, her maternal senses snapping to alert. The garlic she’d placed about the room tinged each breath and settled on her tongue. For two days, she’d spoon-fed the girl warm broth and tea with honey and arranged garlic cloves to nurse her daughter through a bad cold.    Amazon
Hannah: “What the hell are you doing up there?” Not expecting her cousin Connor to be finished with the horses so soon, Hannah Siobhan Farraday almost teetered off the stone pillar at his bark. “Taking in the view.” Website

My Little Texas Tornado: "Say, you're that heiress, aren't ya?" "Heiress?" "To the winery." "Oh, uh, yeah. That's me. I guess I'm not used to the title." Colt grunted. Even covered in mud the woman was breathtaking. It never occurred to him that pushing someone into the mud could be so much fun. He'd like to try it again, without the element of danger involved. He laughed out loud at the thought. Amazon

School for Unusual Girls: “What if Sir Isaac Newton’s parents had packed him off to a school to reform his manners?” I smoothed my traveling skirts and risked a glance at my parents. They sat across from me, stone-faced and icy as the millpond in winter. Amazon

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: "At the Feast of Saint Allan in the tiny village of Bocka Morrow, it was said a girl could bewitch a man into loving her with one bite of a polished Allantide apple. Nessa Teague, being the daughter of the Rector of Saint David’s Church, and a quiet, dutiful sort of girl who never gave her parents a moment of worry, had never tried to bewitch anyone. Never picked or polished an Allantide apple. Never taken any part in the charming but heathen tradition. She had simply never believed in the power of enchantment.” Amazon

One Knight Only: Maggie Chase gripped the steering wheel until her knuckles turned white as she navigated the tiny car through a torrential downpour. The windshield wipers swished back and forth at a speedy rate—which, due to the pouring buckets of rain, turned out to be not so speedy after all. Her bright lights reflected off the sheets of rain and she squinted, as if that would help her see through the dark deluge. Amazon
One Night with the Professor: Desperate, Nora Pena stood in trepidation at the closed door of her history professor’s office. This was her last option. She had to ask Tremaine the Terrible for help. Amazon 

What intrigues you to pick up a book and read? The cover? The back cover blurb? Or the first page?



chris keniston said...

I actually like lines Four and Five better LOL

She gripped the post more tightly. “What does it look like I’m doing?”
“Like you’re getting ready to dive off my wall and break your neck.”
“Says the man who swung from an oil rig for a living.”

And for anyone who prefers #ibooks or #nook - here's another link for Tuesday's New Release:

Liese said...

Such great beginnings from my sister Princesses!

See some of you in Orlando next week where several of the Princesses will be signing Saturday, July 29, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m at the Walt Disney World ® Dolphin Resort , Pacific Hall.

Check it out at

Just a note: Saving Hope eBook is on sale for $.99!! Grab your copy before the price goes up!


Unknown said...

I like a line that intrigues me and makes me want to know the answer. This is the opening of the book I just finished. The first in a trilogy.

The corpse in that coffin was not his father.
Blake unbuttoned his suit jacket, slid into the back pew and scanned the crowd packed into the quaint Napa Valley church. There was a mistake. A mix-up. Hayden Ryann was immortal. A self-centered workaholic ass, but immortal.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

wow, Pam, very intriguing.

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Thank you for the post Vicki! Some great beginnings here.