In Search of the Perfect First Line

Layne Jamesbook writing13 Comments

Hi friends!

It’s official, we are “done” with our first book, and while we wait for feedback from our beta readers on our second book, we’ll be submitting Remember Us to a number of agents. Please cross all your fingers and all your toes with us.

That being said, now that we got to The End, we went back to the beginning. We are still playing around with the idea of The Perfect First Line. Please do feel the pressure with us.

We’ve changed the opening scene at least 30 times (seriously), and changed the first line in the current opening scene at least a dozen. We’re including a few of our current “opening options” below.  A few of them are still in rough draft stages, but you get the idea. Which ones grip you, compel you to read further? Please advise. xo.

I woke up and forgot for a moment that I was back in Omaha, that Bernice was in town, that life as I knew it was on a decided pause. For sixty seconds squished in a blissful row I was content, relishing in the feeling of a new day and toasty covers. I didn’t know then that it would be the happiest minute of my day.

I bit my nails, an old nervous habit I picked up when I was seven, and I waited to hear the fate of my father.

“This is such a cliché,” I muttered out the window as I bit my nails, an old nervous habit I picked up when I was seven, wondering how long I’d have to wait until he arrived home.

We’d looked at each other like this so many times through the years, his dark eyes as familiar to me as my own, our prolonged stare overrun with unspoken questions and an overarching understanding, the mountains of things unsaid between us prodigious and daunting. I sighed and shook my head.

While Dad spent the day coughing and Bernice spent the day crying beside him, I spent the whole day avoiding them both.

After Ben told me the news, I spent the every minute of the following week making a list of all the things I wanted to be different in my life, and this topped the charts.

When I found out he was sick, I spent the entirety of the following week sequestered in my childhood bedroom, eating nothing, and avoiding human interaction. I’d only emerge at night when they were all asleep, and I could sit with him alone.

When I got the news over a week ago, I raced outside immediately, looking for a helicopter or taxi, something to transport me immediately to another dimension; I’d been here looking for answers, for absolution ever since.

I spent the entire 8-hour plane ride home drinking mimosas, one after the other like beads along a string, and wondering how I could fix the chaos that was my life. I’d been here looking for answers, for absolution ever since.

p.s. Don’t be surprised if there is a different first line entirely by the time you’re holding a copy of this beauty in your hands. We feel rather rogue.

13 Comments on “In Search of the Perfect First Line”

  1. Wow. Hard one. I’m not a fan of the nail-biting ones.

    Like:

    I woke up and forgot for a moment that I was back in Omaha, that Bernice was in town….
    We’d looked at each other like this so many times through the years….
    When I got the news over a week ago, I raced outside immediately….
    Maybe? my favorite one? I spent the entire 8-hour plane ride home drinking mimosas….

    Can’t wait!! Love you!!

  2. Love the first one the most by far! I don’t like the “when I got the news” “when I found out he was sick” ones as much that give you a lot of info right away.

    Good luck! I am so excited!!

    1. Angieeee,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read these and give us feedback. (Do I get to see you over reading week?) xo.

  3. Can’t wait to read my first Blake and Beckner book.

    I like this one:

    I woke up and forgot for a moment that I was back in Omaha, that Bernice was in town, that life as I knew it was on a decided pause. For sixty seconds squished in a blissful row I was content, relishing in the feeling of a new day and warm covers. I didn’t know then that it would be the happiest minute of my day.

    1. ANNE. You’re the SWEETEST. Thanks for all your love/support/co-authorship (hehe) through the process. xoxo.

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