Last weekend I wrote my first ghost story ever. It wasn’t very long but it did intrigue me and it set me off on the path of my first YA book. The ghost story I wrote is a small piece of the whole that I have fleshed out in my head over the past week. I have found the idea for this story has taken over my mind and it just needs to be written down as quickly as possible. I am not getting any peace from it and can’t focus on other writing like poetry and flash fiction.

I spent my free time on Saturday and Sunday writing the first 21 pages and I am quite pleased with the results.

The first few sentences of the book are as follows:

“Margaret could sense the evil. It lapped at the edges of her conscious mind as she followed Grandfather down the steep stairs. She didn’t understand why she was experiencing this overwhelming feeling of foreboding, but she realised that whatever was causing it had started in this shadowy cellar with its thick flint and stone walls.”

First sentences are very important. After I wrote this, I reflected on the opening lines of some of my favourite books.

The Shining by Stephen King:

“Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.

Ullman stood five-five, and when he moved, it was with the prissy speed that seems to be the exclusive domain of all small plump men.”

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham:

“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere. I felt that from the moment I woke. And yet, when I started functioning a little more sharply, I misgave.”

Morgan’s Run by Colleen McCullough:

“We are at war! cried Mr James Thiftlethwaite. Every head save Richard Morgan’s lifted and turned towards the door, where a bulky figure stood brandishing a sheet of flimsy. For a moment a pin might have been heard dropping, then a confused babble of exclamations erupted at every table in the tavern except for Richard Morgan’s.”

What are your favourite first lines?