#summersparks DAY 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line by Kirsti Call

Summer Sparks5 Ways to Hook your Reader with Your Very First Line
By Kirsti Call

 

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Richard Peck said: “You’re only as good as your opening line.” How do we keep our readers intrigued and wanting more? Here are five ideas to get our juices flowing.

 

1. Ask a question.  Asking a question gets readers thinking. Not a Box immediately asks: “Why are you sitting in a box?”  We want to turn the page to find out the answer. The Day the Babies Crawled Away questions: “Remember the day the babies crawled away?”  This piques our interest.  We want to know what happened on that fateful day.  Did the babies survive?  Where did they go?

2. Make people wonder.    The first line in A Christmas Carol is: “Marley was dead to begin with.” This makes us wonder how he is involved in the story as a dead character.

3. Take People by Surprise. Mustache Baby declares: “When Baby Billy was born, his family noticed something odd: He had a mustache.”  A baby with a mustache?  We have to read on.  Leonardo the Terrible Monster tells us: “Leonardo was a terrible monster…he couldn’t scare anyone.”  A monster who isn’t scary?  I can’t wait to turn the page.

4. State an opinion.    Pride and Prejudice starts with an opinion that foreshadows the theme of the book and makes you want to read on:  “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

5. Use word play. Being Frank starts with: “Frank was always frank” and  Bridget’s Beret is similar: “Bridget was drawn to drawing.”  There’s nothing  better than the clever use of words to get people wanting more.

Kirsti Call

Kirsti Call

I love everything about reading.  I love the weight of a book in my hands.  I love the way words create pictures in my head and bring me to another world.  I love how books teach me about life and love and who I am and who I want to be.

As a kid I couldn’t help reading all day.  I hid my book under my desk and read in class.  I read as I walked home from school, always slightly surprised out of my reverie by the elderly lady in the neighborhood who announced: “There goes the bookworm again!”  

I had reading parties with my siblings.  The five of us piled on top of each other like kindling in a fire, our limbs touching as our minds burned with the need to read.   After bedtime I read with a flashlight, my book hidden under the covers as I forced myself to stay awake for just one more page.

My love of reading made writing a necessity.  If only I could write things in a way that would help people want to crawl inside my book and never leave!  I hope you enjoy my books. Thanks for visiting!

–     –     –     –     –     –

Kirsti Call lives near Andover, MA with her husband and five children.

She loves reading, writing and singing.

On sunny days you will find her on the tire swing in her backyard and on rainy days you will find her dancing with her umbrella.

Kirsti is the author of:

The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall

The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall

FIND KIRSTI CALL:

Website
Facebook
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Writing Prompt:

Take a few minutes right now to incorporate questions, wonder, surprise, opinion and word play in ten first sentences.  These sentences might just spark an idea for an entire story.  Also, consider the first sentence of your work in progress.  How can you make it irresistible?

 

Kirsti will be giving away one copy of …

The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall

 

to those of you who PRE-REGISTERED, COMMENT on this post, and COMPLETE the challenge.

Go to this RAFFLECOPTER LINK TO ENTER into the drawing to win under Kirsti’s post!

 

Missed a SUMMER SPARK? Don’t worry, you can find them here:

Day 1: In Celebration of Summer Magic  by Kelly Milner Halls
Day 2:  The Power of Doodling  by Alison K. Hertz
Day 3: Cause & Effect  by Alayne Kay Christian
Day 4: How to be a Marketing Ninja  by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Day 5: A Visual Writing Prompt: Begin at the End  by Julie Gribble
Day 6: The Final Word  by Jodi Moore
Day 7: Inspiration Station  by Susanna Hill
Day 8: Voice and Word Choice in Picture Books by Tara Lazar
Day 9: Platform Building Can You Build It? Yes, You Can!  by Tracey M. Cox
Day 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line  by Kirsti Call
Day 11: Burning Down the House aka Revision by Donna Earnhardt
Day 12: Persistence  by Donna M. McDine
Day 13: Writing Your Way to a Spark  by Kris Dinnison
Day 14: Hope In Your Heart  by Carol Gordon Ekster
BONUS: What Songs Rock Your World?  by Claire Rudolf Murphy
THAT’S A WRAP!
Follow-up #1: TIPS
Follow-up #2: 9 Ways to Tighten Your Story
Prize Announcement: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

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41 thoughts on “#summersparks DAY 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line by Kirsti Call

  1. Great ideas! I can’t wait to read The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall. The cover makes me very curious! Thanks for all the good advice on openings.

  2. Thanks so much for these great ideas! It’s definitly worth going back and looking at the first sentences I’ve already written. And the book looks cute and does get my attention!

  3. I have always loved that Christmas Carol first line. What a great way to begin a book. I can’t wait to read, The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall… it’s on my Amazon Wish List

  4. Enjoyed your post, and I was surprised you didn’t include the first line from Charlotte’s Web which I’m always reading about. I’ve written a story from my summer sparks, and now the only thing I don’t like about it is the first line.

  5. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 14: Hope In Your Heart by Carol Gordon Ekster | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  6. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 1: In Celebration of Summer Magic by: Kelly Halls | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  7. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 2: The Power of Doodling by Alison Hertz | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  8. Pingback: #summersparks Day 3: Cause and Effect by Alayne Kay Christian | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  9. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 4: How to be a Marketing Ninja by Corey Rosen Schwartz | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  10. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 5: A Visual Writing Prompt: Begin at the End by Julie Gribble | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  11. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 6: The Final Word by Jodi Moore | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  12. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 7: Inspiration Station by Susanna Hill | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  13. Pingback: #summersparks. DAY 8: Voice and Word Choice in Picture Books by Tara Lazar | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  14. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 9: Building a Platform by: Tracey M. Cox | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  15. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 11: Burning Down the House by Donna Earnhardt | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  16. Pingback: #summersparks 12: Persistence by Donna McDine | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  17. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 13: Writing Your Way To A Spark by: Kris Dinnison | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  18. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 15 BONUS POST: What Songs Rock Your World? by Claire Rudolf Murphy | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  19. Pingback: #summersparks and that’s a wrap! | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  20. First lines are important…I’ve come up with a story, starting with the ending. Now to come up with an appealing first line!!! Thanks Krisit.

  21. Pingback: #summersparks Follow-Up: TIPS | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  22. Pingback: #summersparks: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

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