So. It's official. Today I'm kicking off an Opening Lines series!!
And I've decided to start with a genre that is near and dear to my heart: YA paranormal romance.
Below you will find a few opening lines from a few YA paranormal romance novels. With this exercise, I aim to see which types of openings characterize the genre (and why I think they work).
Le opening lines:
"If there's a Hell on Earth, it's high school"--Lisa Desrochers, Personal Demons.
"I'd always welcomed war, but in battle my passion rose unbidden"--Andrea Cremer, Nightshade.
"Around midnight, her eyes at last took shape"--Lauren Kate, Fallen.
"There were only two kinds of people in our town"--Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures.
"Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her"--Kimberly Derting, The Body Finder.
"I walked into biology and my jaw fell open"--Becca Fitzpatrick, Hush, Hush (this is from the first chapter, since the prologue is in another POV).
"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves"--Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver.
"I'd never given much thought to how I would die--though I'd had reason enough in the last few months--but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this"--Stephenie Meyer, Twilight.
Okay. What do we see here?
Some opening lines are all about Character + Voice (Personal Demons, Fallen, The Body Finder, Beautiful Creatures). This is one of the hardest openings to pull off, but oh so awesome when done correctly (as in the above examples).
Nightshade's opening line is a mix between Character + Voice + Action. We get the feeling the MC is in the middle of a fight, and if not, he/she is bracing themselves for it. Either way, I want to know which one it is.
In Hush, Hush, Shiver, and Twilight, we get Character + Cliffhanger = Tension. In all honesty, this is the one that always hooks me. I am a sucker for that OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING kind of opening, but I need to "feel" the character as well. I want to get a taste of their personality while their worlds are being thrown out of balance. Whether it's a surprised student, a victim of unfriendly wolves, or someone who knew their tragic fate and faced it anyway, these openings show that despair readers can relate to. You're rooting for these people, mainly because their circumstances leave you no choice but to sympathize with them.
So. If you're working on a YA paranormal romance, consider these types of openings. And makes yours even better :)
Now tell me: which one of these openings works for you as a reader/writer? Are there any other types of openings you've noticed in YA paranormal romance books?