A great opening line

The importance of the opening line can't be overstressed. It's the first chapter that will seal the deal, but it's the first 500 words that will get your reader to commit to the rest of that opening chapter. And what convinces them to read the first 500 words?

The opening line.

Here is the first sentence of "Herbert West, Reanimator", by H.P. Lovecraft:

"Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror."

Isn't that terrific?

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.

1 comment:

  1. Tony,

    Very true, and that is an excellent opening line. I will say though that overall I found Lovecraft to be overrated. I know, I know, I just remember that when I got his anthology and started to read I ended up dissappointed. The first story was great, but the others all followed the same script:

    1) Batchelor man notices old, abandonded building

    2) He obsesses about the building and what's inside

    3) He is overcome by his curiosity and goes inside, alone, at night, in thunderstorm under a new moon

    4) finds an Ancient Evil(tm)

    5) Is consumed.

    Great once; tedious the twelfth time.

    All the best,


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