I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. ~ Albert Einstein
When I was a kid I loved the Curious George books. I was always curious what George would do next. He flew a kite, went to the beach, took a job, rode a bike and he even went to the hospital after he ate a piece of a jigsaw puzzle; he thought it was candy.
George had a desire to learn about everything. For a monkey, he was pretty smart; after all curiosity has been the driver behind the greatest discoveries in science, medicine and technology. George knew, without curiosity, there would be no creativity.
As a writer, curiosity allows me to venture into the “what if” of my creative mind. It encourages me to try something bold and different, especially when I attempt to craft the important opening line of a story. First lines draw the reader in and set the tone. Choice of verb and the number of words can suggest fast pace with a lot of suspense or a slower, more cerebral story.
To write a winning first line, I have to make my readers curious so they’ll stay with me. If I fail to intrigue and hook them in the early sentences, I haven’t done my job.
I’ve read many articles and posts about how agents never get past the first line or paragraph when they go through submissions. It’s all about first impressions. If I’m unable to make a good first impression, it doesn’t bode well that my story will get any better and my readers may start looking for the bad stuff.
Curiosity lives in all of us. As children, we embraced and pursued it. As I continue to write, I’ll think about George and his passion for the “what if.” When my opening line is read, I want the reader to think, “Oh, this is going to be good.”
Do you have a favorite first line? Perhaps you’d like to share a first line from your own WIP.