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Monday, September 19, 2011

FIRST LINES--What Appeals To Us? Check out the winners.

Every first line got some attention, but there were a few clear favorites. I intentionally selected as wide a variety as I could, knowing that we, as readers, do not all like the same books. And how wonderful is that? What a dull world it would be if there were only one genre of novel to choose from.

In the case of this little experiment, it seems that readers like humor, guns, and heroes with cool names like Dallas, Cole, and Reese. Does this give you a hint? I've listed four, because these were so close in numbers, I couldn't leave out a number 4. The remainder received a lot of attention, too.


Number 1: "Sorry you got shot, Cole. Damn, this is gonna mess up all our plans."

Number 2: "Reese, if you weren't dead, I swear I'd kill you!
ONE FOR THE ROAD by Lynne Marshall

Number 3: Dallas McClintock sprawled on the ground, three rifle barrels pointed at his chest.
 THE TEXAN'S IRISH BRIDE by Caroline Clemmons

Number 4: "He has walled us in alive! Our own lord has abandoned us!"
TO TOUCH THE KNIGHT by Lindsay Townsend

The rest of the First Lines came from--in no particular order:
IN YOUR EYES by Adelle Laudan
FIRE EYES by Cheryl Pierson
THE COUNT'S LAIR by Stephanie Burkhart
BITTER NOTES by Sarah J. McNeal

Some comments of interest that caught a reader's attention:

"Because I want to know who shot Cole and I need to know what those plans were."
"What comes to mind--what has happened to stop a party?"
"Who hasn't wanted to kill a man at some point?"
"Because it's funny, and it shouldn't be, and it got my attention."
"It made me smile and I want to know why."
"Love the imagery of the water."
"It poses a mystery."
"I liked the snappy dialogue."
"It's very dramatic."

Thank you for taking part--
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


Caroline Clemmons said...

Celia, thanks for the plug for THE TEXAN'S IRISH BRIDE. Fun way to explore books and openings.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I am sorry, but I realized I must be sick because I was laughing at the line about what woman hasn't wanted to kill a man. My hubby came in and laughed too. He said it's probably true.... Gotta love him.

Celia Yeary said...

Caroline--you're welcome. I loved that book, and as you can see, you had a very good first line! Congratulations--I don't have a real prize, though...sorry!

Celia Yeary said...

PAISLEY--no, no, no! You're not sick. I laughed at that one, too! I thought it was very honest...with a sense of humor.
Glad you enjoyed the lines---Celia

Calisa Rhose said...

Congrats on the 'winners'. I think I voted for all three. Lynne's line was my fave. Now when I get it I'll have to watch for that scene.

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Calisa--(love your name)--that's what we want--for you to be curious about the book.
I appreciate your visits! Celia

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Hey Celia, thank you for chosing a first line from my book, Bitter Notes. Ya know, I learned something from this blog. I knew first lines were important but now I believe I'll have to take it up a notch to keep up with my excellent colleagues and their work.

Mona Risk said...

Lynne's line was my favorite too, but they are all good.

Celia Yeary said...

SARAH--yes, I have to remind myself about first lines when I begin any story--short or long. They are important. It's not easy to include vital information in a first line, while grabbing attention. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MOna--yes, Lynne's was excellent. Celia

Debra St. John said...

Hi Celia,

This was fun! Great blog topic and fun interaction!


Lilly Gayle said...

This was fun and it must have taken you quite a bit of time. Thanks!

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hey Celia, this was a ton of fun! Thanks so much for including Fire Eyes in the bunch! I appreciate that! Lots of great lines here!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thanks so much for including the first line of MUCH ADO ABOUT MARSHALS. And wow, what great lines you selected! I always learn something from these exercises.

Also, we'll have Caroline at Romancing The West next week, and Celia is scheduled for the week of November 28. Yay!

Maggie Toussaint said...

What a hoot! You sure threw a great first lines party, Celia! I'm glad my favs were all top pics.

God bless! Maggie

Celia Yeary said...

DEBRA--THANK YOU! I'm pleased that you stopped by and had a little fun. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LILLY GAYLE--it was fun, but it didn't take much time. I got all the information off Amazon--go to an author's page, find the book, click open "See what's inside," and copy the first line. Since I knew those I was easy-peasy. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

CHERYL--glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I though Fire Eyes had a very good beginning--something that grabbed your attention right away. Thanks for your comment--see you later--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

JACQUIE--WERE you surprised by the votes? I thought it was just the greatest line.
I'll be watching for Caroline, and I cannot wait for my turn! Thank you, dear friend...Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MAGGIE--oh, you picked all three? Great! This goes to show just how good first lines should be--you should know--you do it all the time. Celia

Ilona Fridl said...

Celia, yes, those are great first lines! We, as authors, have to come up with something that will catch the reader's attention and they sure do.

StephB said...

Celia, thanks so much for using The Count's Lair. All the lines were great - this was a fun activity.


Celia Yeary said...

Ilona--I know. Sometimes we forget how important they are. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Steph--hey, you're welcome. Did you read the lovely statement one commentor made about your opening line? Very sweet.

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you all for your participation. Celia

Wendy said...

This was a terrific competition. Conjured up lots of images :) I hope you'll come up with another great exercise, soon.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Celia! I have been on vacation, and only just now saw the results to your first lines blog. I am thrilled that the first line from One for the Road got second place. I loved all of the first lines. Great job, and thanks so much for choosing my first line for this impromtu contest.

Many thanks,
Lynne Marshall