I wrote in Great Opening Lines – and Why! (Part 3 – Some Great Opening Lines) that I’d share more great opening lines as I found them.
“The Greyhound pulled away into the thunderous summer storm, leaving in its wake a dishevelled, world-weary figure in the dark, deserted bus station.” – Mark Hayes’ Passing Place
Scene, tone, atmosphere, mood, setting, and character in twenty-four words.
I don’t know how he did it and Hayes put me smack in the American midwest. I’ve been in hellacious thunderstorms on several continents and tying the storm to the Greyhound bus nails it. Anybody who’s traveled America by bus has had these experiences.
The Greyhound pulled away… – Isolation, loneliness, being left behind
…into the thunderous summer storm,… – Beautifully rhythmic and alliterative, the storm is thunderous. It is loud. Banging. Crushing.
…leaving in its wake… – again we’re being left behind, isolated, alone.
…a dishevelled, world-weary figure… – The leaving bus and the storm are already deserting and crushing the spirit of this (as yet) unknown character and here it is stated to prove our sense of him or her.
…in the dark, deserted bus station. – Everything from the above and more so. If you as reader aren’t collapsing under the weight this poor character is carrying, stop reading because you’re not getting it and you should. Beautiful, beautiful, and beautiful. I wrote in my complete review of Hayes’ Passing Place how impressed I am by this book, here’s a sample of its power.
Read it. You’ll be better for it.
Do you have any great opening lines you’d like to share?
I’d love to know them. There’s a catch, though. You have to explain in context why a line is great. Saying a line is great because it comes from some great literature doesn’t cut it. Quoting from archaic and/or little known works doesn’t cut it.
Feel free to quote from archaic and/or little know works, just make sure you give reasons why something is great. I stated the Great Opening Lines criteria back in Great Opening Lines – and Why! (Part 2 -What Makes a Great Opening Line?).
So by all means, make the claim. Just make sure you provide the proof according to the guidelines given. If not, your comment won’t get published.