E-MAIL UPDATE: My work e-mail is now working again, so please feel free to e-mail me queries and other work-related matter. Thanks for your patience. My incoming mail from the past day should still reach me despite the error messages you received, so please hold off on e-mailing me again unless you don’t hear from me by tomorrow morning.
Now for the SUFLC.
Before we get to the nominees, I’d first like to thank everyone who entered — this was a ridiculously difficult job Anne and I had, and we were both very impressed by the quality of the nominees. So give yourselves a big round of applause, pats on each other’s backs, and heck, a few rounds of “For he/she is a jolly good fellow/lady” wouldn’t be unwarranted either.
Speaking of Anne… how can I thank Anne enough for helping me with this huge task?? Have I mentioned Good Girl Lit? THE BOOK OF JANE? CONSIDER LILY? EMILY EVER AFTER? Let’s see what else… Oh! I promised Anne everyone’s firstborn child. Hope that’s ok.
So. What makes for a good first line? GOOD QUESTION. Anne and I tried to judge these genre-appropriately and went with our gut instincts about what grabbed us. You will see from the finalists that they are on the shorter side — I’m not opposed to longer first lines, but word choice and flow is just so important and I found that it was harder to maintain over a longer first line.
But really, in describing what makes a great first line, I think Anne said it best in one of the many e-mails we sent back and forth trying to narrow down the list:
“In looking over the finalists, I realize I tend to like the ones that leave you wanting to know what they mean. They don’t necessarily ask a question, but pose a situation that you want to know more about. I guess that’s what a first line is supposed to do—draw you in—but it’s interesting to see how it works.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. In fact I didn’t say it better myself.
Without further ado, here are the nominees. Remember, please be an honest voter and also post in the comments section who you voted for and why. Write-in votes need to be non-anonymous. Voting will be open for three days and will close whenever the widget decides it’s time to close — sometime Sunday. Thank you again to everyone who participated!!
I’m going to list the nominees here because the voting thingie limited me to 100 characters and one of them had to be shortened to fit. In no particular order:
“There’s this girl I’ve never met that I know everything in the world about.” – Eric
“His hands just looked dirty to casual eyes, a slight darkening on the knuckles, a shadow on his palm.” – Conduit
“Brooklyn didn’t know very much about me, which was exactly what I needed in a friend.” – CC
“That summer, the arsonist struck every home on the block but ours.” — jeanne
“When Earth exploded we knew there was going to be trouble.” – JD (Myspace)
“Some people have to try really hard to be a princess, but I am lucky because I was born one.” – Renee (Myspace)
“I’d only been in love with her for ten minutes when everything turned to shit.” Derek
“The footprints ended abruptly, just as the boy’s parents had said they would.” – anon
UPDATE: I’m switching over to write-in votes due to irregular activity. Sorry for the inconvenience. I’m all for spreading the word on the Internet, but it’s not fair to the nominees when so many people are coming to the site from one specific place. This should be a contest based on merit — if you are spreading the word on the internet please do not tell people who to vote for. Hopefully this will work. Anonymous votes will not be counted.