Good morning, Followers of Fear. A lot of you have been clamoring for me to publish some of my NaNoWriMo project, Toyland. Now, I usually prefer to give it a few more drafts before I share content from my stories (especially my novels). However, I don’t see what harm sharing the first two lines can do.

That’s right. Longtime Followers will remember this. It’s #FirstLineFriday!

Now as always, I should list the rules of this once-ubiquitous writing meme. On Fridays, you:

  1. Create a post on your blog titled #FirstLineFriday, hashtag and all.
  2. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  3. Post the first one or two lines of a potential story, a story-in-progress, or a completed/published story.
  4. Ask your readers for feedback and try to get them to try #FirstLineFriday on their own blogs (tagging is encouraged but not necessary).

I’ve titled the post correctly and explained the rules. Now for the first two lines of my Gothic horror WIP, Toyland. Enjoy:

The autumn semester of Mason Prather’s sophomore year of high school at Auckland Academy began with more drama than he could have ever predicted. To be precise, the drama began during Move-In Week, when the exclusive boarding school’s six-hundred students moved into the dorms in the North Building.

Was that a good hook? Did you get interested in the novel after reading that? If not, remember, this is still a first draft. I still have a long way to go before the whole novel is ready for public consumption.

Anyway, what were your thoughts on the opening? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

As for tagging people, I think I’ll skip it this week. However, if anyone would like to take up this meme, you’re more than welcome to. Take the graphic above as well if you like. That’s why I made it.

Well, that’s all for now, Followers of Fear. I have a full day of work ahead of me, so I’m going to get ready for that. Until next time, have a good weekend and pleasant nightmares!

  1. Eh, it didn’t hook me, BUT THAT’S OKAY. I think sometimes you have to finish the first draft before the perfect opening line makes itself known. The first two sentences feel like throat-clearing to me, as if the narrator hasn’t actually started the story yet but is preparing to start.

    It’s also TOTALLY OKAY that the first two sentences didn’t hook me because I’ll read the whole first paragraph (or a few if they’re short) before deciding if I’m hooked or not.

    Also, since this is Gothic horror, I expected a creepy description of the building, a character reacting negatively to the location, or a traumatized character’s voice as he’s about to tell us about his experience there. Hmm, perhaps something like:

    The limo driver tossed Mason Prather’s luggage on the lawn of the historic Auckland Academy and sped away, leaving Mason alone in the creeping shadow of the North Tower.

    Of course, something like that may not fit your story at all. It’s just that I expected a certain vibe from a Gothic opener. Yes, I know it’s North Building, not North Tower, but I thought “Tower” sounded more foreboding.

  2. Not gonna lie, I completely forgot that this feature was a thing! I just randomly post the opening sentences of my stuff on Twitter hahaha
    I’ve seen you talk about Toyland quite a bit, so it was interesting to see your opening. I am afraid it didn’t really hook me. I felt like the sentences a tad too long-winded with a lot of info that might not have been necessary in that primary statement? Also, it didn’t feel as unexpected as I would have hoped. But I am not that great at first sentences either, so not sure you should listen to me.

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