New Beginnings

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If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi. ran a small article called What’s the First Line of the First Book You’re Reading in 2023?. It reminded me of all of the lessons about creative writing that emphasize how the first sentence or the first paragraph is a story is so important in hooking the reader.


I like first lines so I decided to have a look at a few of my own.

Here’s the first sentence from my most recently published short story:

Sheriff Bobby Bill Thornton ran the fingers of both hands through his abundance of silvery locks across his head, unmindful of the blood covering them.

Here’s the first sentence from a short story that’s been accepted for publication but hasn’t yet been published.

The Mahli war cruiser attacked the starship Raeb from below the system’s ecliptic plane, accelerating from behind a ring of asteroids where it was hiding to mask its waste heat.

This is from a story that’s been submitted but hasn’t been accepted (or rejected) yet:

“The year is 2036, the Cash Me Outside girl is President, there are 67,298 genders, and it’s illegal to have an opinion. I’m the last straight, white male, and this is my story.”

That’s actually from a meme, but I’ve always wanted to begin a story with it. Frankly, it’s the way I expect the world to go in the next ten to fifteen years.

I’m working on a couple of stories now and this is how they begin:

Ash still felt startled every time he opened his eyes for the first time in another body.


Cornell Jackson’s hands were shaking as he and Administrator Rosa Mendez were forced at gunpoint to disable the alarms on the secure wing of the Achyuta ring’s top security facility in the spinward end of Rama City.

As it exists right now, here’s how my first novel starts out:

He had expected to go home in more style, but that was just a fantasy.

The older beginning went like this:

The DOID watched the shuttle rise from the surface of Pheothese-D through the mothership’s sensor uplink.

So which beginning intrigues you more?

Oh, one more thing. The first line of the novel I’m reading now:

They were dancing as far as the eye could see, a ceiling that was a flat mirror.

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