Considering I write about cowboys and rodeos, you might be thinking that I’m referring to how long a cowboy has to stay on a bucking bronco or bull. But not this time.
Apparently, eight seconds is the length of a human’s attention span. Eight measly seconds. According to a study done by Microsoft and recorded in Time Magazine, that’s less than a goldfish. http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/
As a reader, I choose books based on the author, the cover, sometimes (but not often) the title, the blurb on the back of the book—and by scanning the first page. Anyone else flip the book open and start reading right in the middle of Walmart? Or “look inside” on Amazon?
As an author trying to reach readers who are used to texting and tweeting, I know I don’t have much time to catch a reader’s interest before he or she closes my book and puts it back on the shelf (literally or figuratively.)
That’s why first lines are so important, and why I sometimes spend days getting those first few pages just exactly how I want them to be.
Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite first lines from contemporary romances, both from other authors on this blog and from some of my own.
Deirdre McIntyre held the phone away from her ear as her best friend Lisette screeched.
“I bought it. You should see it, Lis. It’s amazing.”
In the ensuing heartbeat, a crash of unfathomably deep silence pulled her down, down, down into it and away from reality . . .
“Someone call 911!”
Rachel Perez was looking for a man, not a monkey.
And finally, from my newest book available May 22:
By her own grandmother.
Just for fun, share the first lines from your favorite books or the first line of the book you’re reading right now!