Great Opening Lines – and Why! (August 2023’s Great Opening Lines)

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.

My last entry in this category was January 2023’s Great Opening Lines – and Why! (January 2023’s Great Opening Lines) which covered Lidia Yuknavitch’s‘s The Chronology of Water. This entry in the Great Opening Lines – And Why! posts is Angela PanayotopulosThe Wake Up.

Hell and Heaven are states of being, not destinations. – from Angela PanayotopulosThe Wake Up.
Nine words that a) define the philosophical foundation and exploration of the book and 2) give the reader a heads-up on Panayotopulos’ take on the question of good and evil.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

The best part? The story gets better as you move along. Allow me to share an email I sent to Ms. Panayotopulos earlier today:

Your writing is brilliant. Beyond brilliant. It’s the magic of Laura Koerber blended with the wordcrafting of Lidia Yuknavitch blended with the emotional power of Bina Shah.
I haven’t checked to see if you have other books available and please, dear god, tell me you do.
If you don’t, START WRITING NOW! You have too much talent not to.
I read the first half of your novel in one sitting. I would have read the rest except I had to start my day in a few hours and even then it was a debate.
Reading “The Waking Up” I think “Why am I wasting my time writing when there’s talent like this out there?”
You must have a major publishing/movie deal going for this, yes?

FYI, the three authors mentioned about also have books in the Great Opening Lines series, and yes, Panayotopulos does have other books available (thank god!).

Like previous books in the Great Opening Lines series, The Wake Up is a masterclass in storytelling and storycrafting. Students should pay extra attention to how skillfully she crafts characters so they are relatable, believable, and engaging, how she creates an atmosphere, mood, and tone with great subtlety, and an amazingly powerful authorial voice.


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.