Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What grabs you?

When I'm looking for a book, either online or in the local bookstore, I usually look at four things - the cover, the back cover blurb, and the first page, in that order. If the first paragraph doesn't grab me after reading the blurb, then I'm liable to move onto the next book on the shelf or the next online recommendation.

Covers are a given. If the cover is, um, tacky? or doesn't seem to reflect the story, I rely on the blurb. The trouble with that is often the blurb promises a story that just doesn't show up between the covers. Has that ever happened to you? Shoot, I pitched a story like that once, ;)

What I'm a sucker for is a great first line. Especially if the book is humorous, the first line can pull you in and the next thing you know you're staying up to finish it!

Here are a couple of my favorites.

"The trouble with dead people today is they have no decorum." Vicky Lobel

"It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen." George Orwell

"The night I died I was wrestling the garbage can to the curb." Michelle Bardsley

"He was so mean that wherever he was standing became the bad part of town."

The children's publishing blog has a page on great openings as well and many other awesome writing resources. Here's two from their site:

"The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World.
I'm sixteen now, so you can imagine that's left me with quite a few days of major suckage." Libby Bray

and "The woods were silent, other than the screaming. " M. T. Anderson

You must have your own collection of favorites. Share a couple.


  1. https://tmblr.co/ZcaPoj2BkA5WZ

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