Monday, November 6, 2023

Great openings, an open book blog hop post


Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

What is the best opening paragraph you've written? 


Interesting question! I'm not sure I've examined my own writing in that light before. Beginnings are important and hooking a reader with those opening lines can decide whether they continue on for the rest or not. 

My Menopausal Superheroes novels all seem to start with one of my characters going through something. I feel like these are the right beginnings for these novels, but they're not show-stoppingly beautiful or shocking. Superhero stories are action-oriented after all, so the characters need to be doing something. 

Openings of Books 1-4 of the Menopausal Superheroes series

In my horror stories, I'm generally trying to establish my main character, setting, and situation efficiently. Short stories are especially challenging in this way because they are, well, short. You can't take too long establishing the world and the details before you bring on the bears, or ghosts, or apocalypse or whatever you're throwing at your characters today. 

Opening lines of some of my short stories in anthologies

My favorite opening paragraph I've written so far is from an unfinished novel--a Gothic romance I intend to pick back up as my next project after I turn in Menopausal Superheroes #5: The Architect and the Heir. 

There are many kinds of ghosts. Most families are haunted in one way or another. The specter of my brother’s death hung over my childhood like a constant cloud across the sun. 

Does the opening make or break a story for you? How long do you give a story to "hook" you before you decide whether or not to keep reading? Got any favorite opening paragraphs? (Mine, not written by me, is by Shirley Jackson: the opening to The Haunting of Hill House) 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. I will read several pages before I start worrying about the rest of the book. If they are filled with typos and grammatical errors, I'll have to force myself to read farther.

  2. Sounds like a great opening for a ghost story!