Linda Kage on First Lines

And here she is… author of young adult romance and adult contemporary romance, Linda Kage!
Yes, I’m guilty of it.
After I buy a new batch of books, I bypass the back blurb and head straight to the first page.  I scan the beginning lines to each story and whichever one snags my attention the most is the book I place at the top of my TBR pile—unless I can’t put it down at all, in which case I commence to reading at once.
Writing an opening first line is like writing an awesome query letter.  It helps you move through the reader’s slush pile to get your book placed at that top of their interests.  Might not make the entire story better, but it can certainly grab enough attention to get your story noticed sooner…and actually read.
The bottom half of books on my TBR pile usually gets put back on the shelf and forgotten, sometimes never read at all.  So if you want to write a book people will actually read, remember how important that opening line can be—the entire opening scene actually—and make sure it’s intriguing enough to hook your audience’s attention.
Here are a couple FAMOUS first lines:
–Call me Ishmael.
(from MOBY DICK by Herman Melville)
—In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(from THE HOLY BIBLE)
—It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
(from 1984 by George Orwell)
—It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
(from a TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens)
—There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
(from THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER by C. S. Lewis)
—They shoot the white girl first.
(from PARADISE by Toni Morrison)
Here are a couple of my FAVORITE first lines.
—Jumping to your death was a crappy way to spend St. Patrick’s Day
(from HIGH NOON by Nora Roberts)
—Her chances of a decent marriage were about to be dashed—and all because of a ferret.
(from TEMPT ME AT TWILIGHT by Lisa Kleypas)
—“Honey, you need to get laid.”
(from FANTASY LOVER by Sherrilyn Kenyon)
And last but certainly not least, here’s my attempt at a catchy first line, coming straight from my next book, A MAN FOR MIA, releasing in April 2011.
—He’d never tried to stop anyone from committing murder before.
(from A MAN FOR MIA by Linda Kage)
So…which story do you want to begin now?

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now I live in Kansas with my husband, daughter, and our nine cuckoo clocks. My life's been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part my world, and I'm so happy to finally share some of my stories with other romance lovers. I'm a member of Romance Writers of America and a local chapter, Midwest Romance Writers, who meets monthly in the  Kansas City area. I’ve been through a writing correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children's Literarture, and then I continued my writing lessons by majoring in English with an emphasis in  creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State University. My The Wild Rose Press Books: --The Stillburrow Crush - Young Adult Romance - released February 26, 2010  buy link http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-stillburrow-crush-p-3892.html?zenid=eb173d435ff79db3f83ce5bbd6afa07a  --The Trouble with Tomboys - Contemporary Adult Romance - released August 6, 2010 buy link http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-trouble-with-tomboys-p-4158.html --Delinquent Daddy - Contemporary Adult Romance - released October 22, 2010 buy link http://www.thewildrosepress.com/delinquent-daddy-p-4274.html?zenid=d2074fdef3ea3f200ee0c3da0016a6d0  BLOGGING: Linda Kage Blog Page - weekly - http://lindakage.blogspot.com/ Romance Books "R" Us - on the 12th of every month - http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com/ Climbing Roses of the Wild Rose Press - on the 12th of every month - http://twrpclimbingrose.blogspot.com/ The Writers Vineyard - Every Fourth Wednesday - http://thewritersvineyard.com/ Thanks, Linda for stopping by today!  Everyone remember to leave a comment so you can be entered into the drawing to win fabulous prizes. If I don't  have your email address,then I can't contact you. But it's not the end of the world. If you win, I'll announce  it on the post. You'll just have to check back and see if you're lucky. Otherwise, if you wait too long, the prize may go to the next winner. How long is too long? I dunno. I'm just doing this until my modeling career takes off!  Ta--Amie Disclaimer--I know I'm not the most techie princess out there, so if you have problems with any of the above links, let me know. I'll get with the fabulous Linda and make sure you get all the info you need to get her wonderful books! Don't miss these other great author blogs! Come see me at http://lynneroberts.blogspot.com/ Meet contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons athttp://authorjenniferjakes.blogspot.com/ Meet historical and paranormal romance writer Lilly Gayle athttp://www.ajbooks.blogspot.com/ Meet erotic western historical author Jennifer Jakes at http://maevegreyson.blogspot.com/ Meet author AJ Nuest at http://amycorwin.blogspot.com/ Meet author Lynne Roberts at http://www.jilljameswrites.com/blog Meet paranormal romance author Maeve Greyson at http://www.katduncan.net/writeabout Meet author Amy Corwin at http://lindakage.blogspot.com/ Meet contemporary and paranormal romance author Jill James athttp://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/ Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan athttp://www.lillygayleromance.blogspot.com
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11 thoughts on “Linda Kage on First Lines

  1. thanks for hosting me today! I might’ve said why first lines are important, but Amy corwin on my blog says HOW to make them good.

  2. Hi Linda,

    I’m the same way! A first line is at least as important as a good blurb.

    And I think I’d start with a Man for Mia, because I love the title too!

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