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Fantastic First Lines {Reading Like a Writer Series}

You've heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." But what about, "Don't judge a book by its first page?"

Is this even possible to do?

When we pick up a book, it is most likely the words on the first page that determine whether or not we will keep reading. We've all read a book or two that didn't capture our attention so we stopped reading.

Don't let this happen to you as a writer!

Those first few lines of writing are referred to as the "hook" or the "grabber" because of their task of capturing the attention of the reader and making them want to keep reading. There are a couple of writing techniques that grabbers use to do their job, including:

  • Begin with dialogue

  • Ask a question

  • Use onomatopoeia

  • State a fun fact or a quote

  • Address the reader directly

  • Set the scene

Reading Mentor Texts Like a Writer

When we read a book with a writer's eyes, we should pay special attention to how the author captured our attention with their hook.

Check out some of these first lines and see if you can figure out which of the above techniques the author used. Do these lines make you want to read more? Why?