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Great First Line: Take A Chance On Me

What should a great first line accomplish? Today, we’re looking at the first line of Take A Chance On Me by Becky Wade.

First Line of Take a Chance on Me
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The First Line of Take A Chance On Me

The hospital’s electronic doors whooshed open as Penelope Quinn rushed toward the emergency room.

The first line of Take A Chance On Me takes us right into the action. Who’s Penelope and why is she in the emergency room? How will this play out into the rest of the story?

There are a lot of opinions about when a book should start. There are those who believe it should start with the catalyst which means the action at the beginning of the story catapults the character–and the reader–into the new world.

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On the other hand, there are those who believe that a book should begin sometime before the catalyst. In the second approach, the reader has an opportunity to see the characters in their pre-catalyst world.

If you’re using the Save the Cat system, this is an option to set up the status quo world. You can see all the things that are going wrong with the character and what needs to change as well as why they need to change.

In the case of Take A Chance On Me, the author chose to begin right at the catalyst. This scene will eventually see our main character Penelope bumping into a character she would rather have avoided.

One reason the author may have made this choice is that Take a Chance On Me is a fairly short book. Also, this novella serves as an introduction of sorts to a new world that Becky Wade is creating. It served to give you a taste of some of the characters you’ll meet in the new series.


When Should Your Story Start?

Should you start with the action or a few scenes before? That depends on your story. I know, that’s probably not what you wanted to hear but I’m sure if you think about it, you’ll understand what I’m saying.

I’m assuming that you’re not only a writer but also a reader. Think of some of the books you’ve read, when did the story begin? Some stories start right at the inciting event while others take you a bit further into the history of the story and its characters.

The first line of Take A Chance On Me has you asking a bunch of questions.

  • Who is in the hospital?
  • What happened to that person?
  • Why does Penelope care?
  • Why should we as the reader care about that person?

As a writer, you will have to decide where your story begins but in the meantime, we can continue to study the craft by reading great first lines.

How the First Line of Take A Chance On Me Played Out in the Story

Within a few paragraphs, the reader will realize that the first line of Take A Chance On Me sets the story up. It throws the main character, Penelope, and her antagonist/love interest in the same space for an unforeseen period of time. While Penelope would love to have nothing to do with Eli that’s not going to happen. Eli is a man of his word and he intends to keep his promise to his best friend.

The incident which brought a character to the hospital in the opening scene is also carried throughout the book and the reader is always conscious of the fact that life is happening outside of the romantic tension between the two main characters.

What did you think of the first line of Take A Chance On Me?


About Take a Chance on Me (Misty River Romance)

Take a Chance on Me by Becky WadeWhen baker Penelope Quinn steps in to help her brother’s family through a medical crisis, she’s forced into close proximity with charming Air Force fighter pilot Eli Price.

Penelope has one iron-clad dating rule—she does not date airmen. Months ago, she relaxed her rule with Eli and immediately lived to regret it. After a long deployment, he’s now back in Misty River, and, to her dismay, she finds him just as tempting as always.

Eli’s spent months thinking about funny, feisty, creative Penelope. He once leveraged his focus and drive to become a pilot, his childhood dream. Now he’s set on leveraging that same focus and drive in order to convince Penelope to give him one more chance.

This romantic prequel novella introduces readers to the quaint mountain town of Misty River and a brand-new series from Christy-winning author Becky Wade!

Get the ebook of Take A Chance On Me on Amazon for free (This ebook was free at the time the post was published, please check the price before purchasing).


About Becky Wade

Becky WadeBecky is the Carol and Christy award-winning author of heartwarming, humorous, and swoon-worthy contemporary inspirational romances.

She loves to connect with readers via her web site,, and via her Facebook author page,

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

These days, you’ll find Becky in Dallas, Texas failing to keep up with her housework, trying her best in yoga class, carting her three kids around town, watching TV with her Cavalier spaniel on her lap, hunched over her computer writing, or eating chocolate.

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