A Pinch, A Punch and an Opening Line Teaser!

We all know how much of an impact those first few words are on the page, so how many of these do you recognise?
1. "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

2. "Where's Papa going with that axe?' said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast."

3. “All children, except one, grow up.”

4. "If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book."

5. "If you're going to read this, don't bother."

6. "It was the day my grandmother exploded."

7. "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were."

8. "The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand."

9. "Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space"

10. “No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”  

11. “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

12. “Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.”

13. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.”

14. “When Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventyifirst birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”

15. “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears' house. Its eyes were closed.”

16. "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug."

17. "I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror."

18. "Mr and Mrs Dursely of number four, Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

19. "I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975."

20. "I will not drink more than fourteen alchohol units per week."

No prizes for guessing the most correctly, but doesn't your brain feel like it's had a good workout now you've had a go?!

Happy Monday Strictlies!


DT said...

A salient reminder of the importance of a captivating opening line. Another interesting test is whether one can discern the genre just from the opening line.

Some say a first line ought to tease and captivate the reader, while others suggest it ought to place the reader firmly in the action or the scene. Every one of those you listed, in their own way, stand out as a strong piece of writing.

What about if we Strictly Writers shared our first lines in a single post? I'm up for it if the others are!

Thrifty Gal said...

Haha, i'd love that! Let's do it!

Debs Riccio said...

Um.... even No.17 Derek? Really? :)

DT said...

1 If all the Strictlies would like to send me the opening line of each of their novels, and a brief (two sentence description), I'll happily put a post together.

2. No 17 - yes really. It makes me smile, although I don't know where it comes from.

3. Incidentally, what's the opening line of Fifty Shades?


Debs Riccio said...

the answer to 3 is 2. :) !

DT said...