There was some confusion with this first contest as to where entries should land, so I want to point out to people that some contestants entered in the comments here. And others here. (And some in both.)
My editor fingers are itching right now. So many good opening lines that just need the tiniest tweak to make them great.
And several that are pretty wonderful already.
It was a tough choice, but I went with the "less is more" feeling of this contestant's opening line. It grabbed my attention the first time I read it and every subsequent time I looked through the lists of entries, it grabbed my attention again.
The winner of Contest #1 is:
"The tracker placed his hand, fingers splayed, within the bloody paw print on the ground."
Why did I choose this entry?
It uses no gimmick, tells no back story, and doesn't cram more than one sentence into the sentence. It is sleek, elegant, and very evocative. Its fifteen words plunk me right down into the action. I'm immediately hooked; I want to know more.
On the other hand, it leaves me guessing. The story could take place anywhere from the plains of Africa to some frontier region of a planet in a galaxy far, far away. My curiosity is piqued and I'm willing to read on.
Congratulations, wicked1991! Email me at editorjennifer at gmail.com and give me your name and address. Your book will be off to you shortly!
Next contest: Best Character Intro Contest - send me the three paragraphs during which a character first appears in your novel (750 word limit). Prize: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Brown and Dave King. Contest opens Nov. 8, 2009, Deadline 11:59 pm Pacific time Nov. 13, 2009, Winner announced Nov. 14, 2009.
Please wait until tomorrow and post in the comments of the official Contest 2 post.