It’s Open Mic Day at WITS – Share Your First Lines!

It’s Open Mic Day at WITS – Share Your First Lines!

Every so often, we open the doors of WITS to our readers. It’s our version of Open Mic Night. We like hearing what you’re up to in your writing and back-to-school time, with Fall around the corner, is a great time for this.

Today, we’d love to hear your first lines for a new manuscript or short story. If that sounds daunting, give us the first line of your new chapter, or the first line of a favorite book. We want to make it easy!

The Power of First Lines

Fabulous first lines tend to stick with all of us. We ponder them, agonize over them, rewrite them, and rewrite them again. And more than once, we’ve actually purchased a book based on a breathtaking first line or paragraph.

Our own Laura Drake has offered some great advice on writing a winning first line here.

Let’s Hear Yours!

Today, it’s your turn to entertain or wow us with your opening lines. If you can’t think of anything, share a favorite from someone else. Give us the title and genre, then your opening line(s).

Feel free to comment on others’ as well, and tag your writing friends on the post so they can share theirs!

We’ll get you started.


Black Irish Blues by Andrew Cotto (Mystery). The first line from the prologue:

The trouble with Dinny Tuite began with the two-martini rule.


These are from the first chapter of Sylvie’s Summer of Scary Sh*t, a short horror story under the pen name Krissy Knoxx:

At that moment, a big praying mantis whipped by her head, swooped down, and landed on her marker-doodled Vans. She shook her foot, nearly dropping her phone, and yelled, “Get-it-off, get-it-off, get-it-off!” 

“Just a carnivorous manteodea on my shoe. A harmless bug. It can’t hurt me. It can’t hurt me.” She squeezed her eyes shut, tightened her shoulders, fists, knees. But she had to peek.


Nian hated climbing this mountain. The old wizard pulled his flowing cape closer against the cold and tied his horse to a tree. He cursed the Shadows for choosing such a remote spot for his wife’s tomb.
–Dominion of Darkness – Deleyna Marr

Marie knew the willow-green dress was wrong the moment she saw the blood-red bridge.
— Sisterhood – Deleyna Marr


“As she woke up in the pod, she remembered three things. First, she was traveling through open space. Second, she was about to start a new job, one she could not screw up. Third, she had bribed a government official into giving her a new identity file.”

~ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers is an award-winning LGBTQ Space Exploration Science fiction book. 

Now it’s your turn. Share your opening lines (or a favorite from another author) below!

We hope this helps kick off a great month of writing! Ellen, Jenny, Kris, Lisa & Lynette

Top Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

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