“Mickey Cray had been out of work ever since a dead iguana fell from a palm tree and hit him in the head” (Hiaasen Chomp). (What? How?)
“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife” (Gaiman The Graveyard Book ). (Whose hand? Why?)
“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number 4, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). (Meaning that possibly they were not very normal)
“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air” (Dashner The Maze Runner). (Why? Where?)
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” (J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit). (What’s a hobbit?)
A lead sentence grabs the reader and never lets go. It is the hook that makes the reader want to continue to read and turn that page to find out more.
Pretend you are writing a story about a hero who undertakes a dangerous quest. Write a lead sentence (first line of the first chapter) that will hook your reader into continuing on with the story. Yes, you can make up a hero’s name. Be creative, descriptive, and write something that would make you continue to read.
The purpose of this exercise is to get you familiar with writing great lead sentences, as this is a skill you will need to perfect as the year goes on. Readers need some introduction as to what they will be reading, and good lead sentences can provide these clues. A good lead sentence also makes the reader ask how? Why? What? When? Where?