Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Lines, Foreign Words, and Blog Awards

For the last three Wednesdays my post has included a non-English word, which is unusual since English is the only language I speak. Continuing with that trend, here is my foreign word for today:  Liebster: German (noun), favorite, dearest. 

But before I get ahead of myself, a few thoughts on...

First Lines 

As writers we constantly hear how important that first line is. Many of us agonize for days, weeks, even months, over that first line. Please tell me, is it really that important? 

Don't get me wrong, I realize that the first line is important, but is it really the place where you stop and say this is (or isn't) the book for me? Often I'll read the entire first page, (if not more) before I say, yay or nay, on a book.  In fact, I'm one of those odd readers who will read the jacket flap, the first page summary, and (sometimes) even that last paragraph of the book before I make my decision. 

With that said, I'm wondering, Should our first line be written in the blood of our first born or should it just get the story started?

Below are a few first lines, from books I've loved, but didn't read on just because of the first line. These first lines did succeed at making me curious, a sign of a good first line, but they didn't make me say, I have to read this book. They just made me say, Hmmm.
  • Now that I've found the way to fly, which direciton should I go into the night? Matched by Ally Condie

Muse For Today: How have first lines affected you?



Blog Award


Writer in Training, Julie DeGuia has given me the Liebster Blog Award. Hop over to her blog and check out what she's up to; it's always something helpful.

This award is designed to recognize and promote blogs that have less than 200 followers, and there's 5 simple rules that go along with it:
  1. Thank the person that gave it to you. Thanks Julie! 
  2. Link back to their blog (see above).
  3. Put the award in your blog (ditto).
  4. Present the award to 3-5 blogs with less than 200 followers
  5. Leave a comment to let those blogs know that you've recognized their awesomeness!
Below are the blogs I picked. I must say that everyone who makes time to check out my blog IS dear to me. So, if you like the Liebster Award, grab it, and share it with someone who is dear to you.
    1. Laura at Stranger Than Writing. She just made her 50K goal for Camp NaMoWriMo. Way to go Laura!
    2. Magical Mystical MiMi  who is promoting her friends new store Encore Furniture Gallery.
    3. Melissa Buell at Have Imagination, Will Write is going to ALA this year. I wish I was going too!
    4. Patricia at Sugar and Spice and All Things ? Nice, who has a picture, for Wordless Wednesday, of the cleanest hornets nest I've ever seen.
    5. Lauren over at Word Art: Painting With Words where she is pointing out amusing missspelling misspellings along the Oregon coast.

        13 comments:

        KarenG said...

        No one remembers the first line of a book they don't finish.

        Elise Fallson said...

        Great first lines! I do think the first line of a book is important, but I always give the story a few chapters before making the decision "it's not for me." (: And congrats on the award! (:

        Scribbles From Jenn said...

        Good point Karen!

        Scribbles From Jenn said...

        Thank you Elise! I'm glad to read you give the book a chance to grow on you.

        If it's a library book, I'll give it a few chapters. But if I'm in a bookstore, I want to fall in love with it right away.

        Sleep-Deprived said...

        I never know if the first line is GREAT until I have read the whole book. There is NOTHING like a satisfying end to a book, followed by a pause, and another visit to the first line of the book. It seems to me THAT is when it reveals its greatness. If it has honestly set the stage for the story, and the story was well told, then it has the power to draw me into the story for another read...and creates a strong desire to share with someone else.

        Scribbles From Jenn said...

        You and Karen agree. Great first lines must have great last lines. I LOVE it when the book is so good, it makes me want to read it again.

        Clarissa Draper said...

        Love your foreign words. Now, as to first lines, I do love good first lines but I have never turned a book if the first line wasn't fantastic.

        Heather Murphy said...

        Congratulations on your award and your nominees!
        I think the first line is very important but I would keep reading if I didn't like it, just tosee what's next :)

        Tonja said...

        I think first lines aren't a deal-breaker, but if they are amazing, they hook you in right away and stay with you forever. Congrats on the award!

        Scribbles From Jenn said...

        Thank you Clarissa. I love hearing that first lines are important, but not deal breakers.

        Scribbles From Jenn said...

        Thank you Heather. I'm with you, I like to see if it gets better somewhere along the way.

        Scribbles From Jenn said...

        Thank you Tonja. It is funny how some first lines stay with us longer than the story. Or we know the first line and have never read the book. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

        Lauren said...

        Aw, thanks so much for the award Jenn!! :D

        Like Tonja said, first lines aren't a deal-breaker, but I think an intriguing or unique first line makes a book that much better. Like one of my favorites -

        "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife."

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