Not the sissy one liners that those idiotic, peacock, tail-feather-shaking boys spout when they're trying to work up enough courage to talk to a beautiful girl. No, I'm talking about the pick up line to a book: the first line on the very first page.
The first impression, if you will.
I have to admit, I've never put much stock into these pick up lines. I might be guilty of judging a book by its cover every now and again, but I definitely don't consider myself as one to judge a book by the first line.
But apparently, its important.
So important, that Writing Guru harps on it at least once every week. Agents, he says, need to be hooked by the first line.
Which never really made sense to me, because (once again) judging a book by the first line isn't really my thing. I usually give the book a good page or two before I decide whether or not I want to buy or borrow it, and then 100 times that length before I reject or read to the end. In fact to say I don't judge would be an understatement. The truth of the matter is that I rarely (if ever) even notice the quality of the first line.
Then again, I don't make my living rejecting thousands of manuscripts.
ANYWAY, the point of my ramblings, is that I finally realized what Writing Guru means when he says the first line is so important. I just finished reading the Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson. It was absolutely fantastic. My advice to you: go read it. And while I'm slightly jealous that he managed to pull a 1.5 million dollar advance for this book (his FIRST book, mind you), that's all beside the point. For the first time since Charles Dickens's "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." I finally noticed a first line.
The first line of the Gargoyle was:
"Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love."
You're a heartless goat if you don't want to keep reading after a line like that. (Why a goat? I don't know. It was the first thing that came to mind).
Anyway, this line was so compelling, it got me thinking that maybe Writing Guru DOES know what he's talking about when he says the first line is important. Considering there are competitors like Andrew Davidson running around the literary arena, I think I might need to reevaluate the quality of my own pick up line. Quite frankly: this girl needs to do a little tail feather shaking of her own.