The great first sentence is not just a step on the path to a story but its own self-sufficient enterprise. Is it so easy to extract because it was unnaturally grafted on in the first place?
We all know the obvious importance of a first sentence, that hook that invites you to read through a novel completely. Famous first lines are often touted, compiled into lists, and analyzed for their literary value. But has literature always placed such a high value on how novels open? Over at Electric Literature, Andrew Heisel finds that importance placed on first sentences is a relatively modern phenomenon.