Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Opening Lines...Plus

by Patricia Bradley

I love opening lines. And about a year ago, fiction writer Marc Laidlaw posted a tweet about opening lines that went viral: “The first line of almost any story,” he tweeted, “can be improved by making sure the second line is, ‘And then the murders began.’”

People tweeted their favorite opening line followed by And then the murders began.

I didn’t read about his tweet until recently, and then I went crazy with the concept. Here are a few of mine:

One of my favorites is from Nancy Mehl's latest, Blind Betrayal: As Martin Avery waited to be murdered, he was surprised to find that more than anything else, he felt offended. And then the murders began.

How about: 
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And then the murders began.

And from Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell. It was raining in Richmond on Friday, June 6. And then the murders began.

Or from George Orwell, 1984: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. And then the murders began.

And from my own Justice Betrayed which will be released June 5: Shirley traced her finger over her mother’s image in the photo, then shoved the picture into the backpack with her other possessions. And then the murders began.

Okay, now it's your turn. Tell me what your favorite first line is and then add And the murders began.


  1. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. And then the murders began.
    Last night I dreampt I went to Manderly. And then the murders began.

  2. I discovered a secret. And then the murders began.

  3. I'd rather boil in oil than marry Noah Brennan! And then the murders began.
    (From Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall)

  4. Boy, I can't think of any right now! But, then the murders began anyway!

  5. Marianne Nuemann's fingers were shaking so hard she could barely pry open the first record book. And then the murders began
    (Together Forever by Jody Hedlund)

    He inherited a lighthouse? And then the murders began.
    (Pelican Point by Irene Hannon)

    HAHA...this is fun! I won't look at a first line in a book without adding that line again :-)