With my hand on the wheel and my brain in neutral . . .

A Great Opening Line

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

This was written by John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars (36,000 reviews on Amazon, and made in to a movie, too. Ya, it’s pretty good.) This is not the book’s opening line, but it could have been. It would function well for any of several genres: romance, coming of age, even vampires or a murder mystery! Regardless of your favorite genre, from this line alone, don’t you want to read more of the author’s writing?

I came across this line, this quote, somewhere on the internet – Pinterest, Instagram,   Facebook, wherever – and I made a note of it because it did its job: it pulled me in gently but firmly. It is credible, relatable, has a touch of poetic vision, and implicitly carries the promise of a story that matters, a story that is important, maybe even pivotal, even if only to the fictional characters and the author. All of this, contained in just 15 words . . . oh ya, this book has got to be worth reading!

An opening that is at least good is essential; a good opening line makes what follows all the more inviting; a great opening line is irresistible.

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