Twitterlit and the Power of the Hook

As I learn about writing and the writing biz, I often come across references to "The Hook." You have to have one and it has to happen in the first line. The Hook is that somethin'-somethin' that makes the reader (agent, publisher) wonder, "what the heck is going on?" and "man, I have to find out."

I came across something that illustrates this perfectly. It's called Twitterlit. It's a blog (affliated with Amazon, quite clearly declared in the sidebar) that daily posts the first line only of an unnamed book.

For example,

"The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken."

Makes me want to read, how about you? If you so feel compelled, you click the link which takes you to the book on Amazon. (That one was Stiff by Mary Roach).

It's an interesting idea. I think every reader has a favorite first line. Mine is "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." Anyone know it? What's your favorite?

There are even online quizes dedicated to the first line. Here's a fun one.


  1. Well....Of course I KNOW it!! We read it together for the Classics. And I think I even knew it before I read Rebecca!

    Great Post!

  2. Rebecca, of course!

    And Stiff is a great book, btw. I think the opening line of Pride and Prejudice is probably my favorite: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a fortune must be in need of a wife.

  3. How funnnn! Thanks for the link. I especially loved Stiff and somehow forgot that first line! Go figure.

    One of my favorite first lines is from A Density of Souls, by Christopher Rice:

    In their thirteenth summer, beneath a sky thickening with summer thunderclouds, four friends rode their bikes to Lafayette Cemetery where the dead are buried above ground.


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