Okay, the thing I always tell my students is that the first sentence of a novel needs a person and a provocative question.

Does this first sentence work for you?

Wrapped in the remnants of a dream, Michelle Tilson rolls onto her back and smiles at the ceiling until she remembers the monster out in the Gulf.

Okay–let me have it! {VBG}



  1. Accidental Poet

    I like the monster in the gulf, but I think the sentence could be tighter.

  2. Cowboy Sunsets

    The two questions that come to my mind are: What was she dreaming that made her smile? & What is it about her ceiling that reminds her of a monster?

    Just kidding. It both caught my attention and had me curious.

  3. Anonymous

    I love first sentences! When I get new books (that’s plural–I always buy at least two or three at a time), I love to get in my comfy chair, read the back cover text and read the first sentence. Really! That always helps me determine which book to read first. Best sentence wins! Your example here is a keeper! I’d have to read this one first just to find out what the monster is and why it’s in the gulf. Inquiring minds want to know…
    Lynda in Mo

  4. Betsy

    It works for me.

  5. Pam Kumpe

    the sentence took back me to – last year – hurricane Katrina and Rita…

    I’m in…loved it.

  6. Leslie

    Not bad. The “remembers” made me cringe though (I’ve never cared for books that are in Present (Or is it Present perfect???) tense-. In other words…the first sentance would have me hooked, but I would need to read the next sentance to know whether or not I would actually buy it.


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