After something like two and a half years, I believe I have finally hit upon a good first line for THE MADMAN'S CROWN.
It happened when a critique partner pointed out the ultimate irrelevance of my first couple paragraphs. This was something I knew in my heart, but wasn't ready to come to terms with. (Note: This is what CP's are for. Oh, how I do love them.)
|CP's also deserve non-creepy cupcakes.|
And while I was dealing with that, I noticed a way I could rephrase this line--this line that I really liked, that had started near the beginning and floated up and down the first couple pages and even been deleted and reinstated a couple times during revisions.
And when I rephrased this line slightly, I realized I had FOUND my first line.
I liked it so much that it gave me the courage to delete that itty bitty prologue that I'd been holding on to forever. (I decided it would have been necessary if I were telling the story in a different way. But I'm not. But Prologue Love is another topic entirely...)
So yes! A first line that I love has finally emerged. I don't want to share it, because I feel self-conscious now that I've made such a big deal about it, but...I think it's good. :)
I realize now that finding a suitable first line was a lot like looking through a kaleidoscope. I find myself using the words "found" and "hit upon" and "noticed." It wasn't something I just sat down and wrote.
That said, some of the future story ideas I have on file started as first lines. Hmmm.
I'd be interested to hear how first lines work for other people. The sharing of favorite first lines is also welcome. :)