Richard Wiseman ran a contest over on Twitter a little while ago, looking for an opening line to a novel. As I’m sure you all know, many authors look to create a ‘hook’ in that opener – something to entice the bookshop browser to want to buy the book to be able to read on. Not always as easy as it sounds, mind you, but great fun!
Anyway, here was my attempt:
It was only after losing my legs I realised how much I loved shoes.
Random, I know, but those fourteen words create a whole host of questions about the novel. And would hopefully get someone interested. But is an opening sentence really that important? I guess for the established author, no. I can’t remember the last time I bought a book on the strength of the opening line, paragraph or even page (the flap copy, maybe). But to get the attention of an agent or publisher, then yes, it is important.