For this installment of Great First Lines, we’re looking at the first line of Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill.
The First Line of Collision of Lies
If they were still arguing, she’d call the cops then. Let the professionals deal with them.”
Okay, so this is actually three sentences, but given how short they were, I had to give you more than one line.
These lines draw you in. You want to know:
- Who’s arguing?
- What they’re arguing about?
- How long they’ve been arguing?
- Where they are and why they’re considered a nuisance.
- Who is the person that is observing them and why are they giving them a time frame before they call the police?
What the First Line of Collision of Lies Teaches You
This technique is a great way to introduce pacing into your story. The sentences are mostly short which gives you a hint that the story will be fast-paced. At the same time, it’s important to remember that you need to vary the pace of your work. No reader wants to be in a constant state of agitation and excitement as they quickly become weary if that’s the case.
It also gives you a hint of characterization. Is the couple an integral part of the story? At the beginning of the novel, your reader doesn’t really care about why your characters are arguing so it’s up to you to give them that reason. What can you do in the opening scene to create a compelling reason for your reader to want to be invested in the characters?
How this Played Out in the Collision of Lies
We eventually learn that the speaker is the police officer and she is drawn into the drama which has caused the couple’s argument. Yet even though Amara is helping the couple, at times we still get a sense of her reluctance to help and to get drawn into something that she initially believed is only in the couple’s heads.
Eventually, the reader realizes that the event which led to the couple’s argument at the beginning of the book is the basis of the story. Without the events leading up to that argument, there wouldn’t have been a book. The reader is reminded that had it not been for Amara’s interruption of their conversation, the couple would have continued their argument and that would have been the end of everything.
Have you read Collision of Lies? What did you think of the first line of Collision of Lies?
About Collision of Lies
The case was tragic. But it was an accident. Right?
Three years ago, a collision between a fast-moving freight train and a school bus full of kids led to devastation and grief on an unimaginable scale. But a fresh clue leads San Antonio police detective Amara Alvarez to the unlikely conclusion that one of the children may still be alive. If she’s correct, everything law enforcement believes about the accident is a lie.
With time running out, Amara must convince others–and herself–that despite all evidence to the contrary, the boy is alive. And she will do everything in her power to bring him home.
A fresh voice in suspense, Tom Threadgill will have you questioning everything as you fly through the pages of this enthralling story. Purchase your copy of Collision of Lies on Amazon.
About the Author
Tom Threadgill is a full-time author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). He is currently on the suspense/thriller publishing board for LPC Books, a division of Iron Stream Media. He lives with his wife in rural Tennessee.
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