|photo credit: UNE Photos via photopin cc|
Aww, the good ole' days when all you needed were four magic words and poof! Your first line was done! Well, those days are as ancient as the quill pen they were written with. Now, according to experts in the field, you get nanoseconds to convince the reader to turn the page. Nanoseconds??? Seriously??? After all the work I went through to write that page, you only give me nanoseconds??? When I first heard this comment, I thought it was ridiculous, until I found myself in the bookstore reading book jackets and making my choice to buy or not buy in nanoseconds.
It seems we writers keep having this conversation about first lines and or pages. Jill Corcoran of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency did an entire blog post, including sample pages on , Why I Reject a Novel Based on Your First Page. Dear Editor.com dedicated two different post on why openings that break the rules like Gayle Forman's If I Stay and John Green's The Fault In Our Stars work. Proving once again you can break the rules as long as you do it well. Which brings me to the same conclusion as always; follow your heart first, the rules second.
What do you think about first lines/pages? How long do you give a book before you decide to purchase it?