Today I encountered the best first line ever. I won’t quote word for word, but let’s just say it had the phrase “wet shaft” involved.
It’s obvious the author didn’t intend a sexual innuendo. They were trying to describe the scenery in a dark and dangerous environment. But I giggled for a while. Unfortunately, I had a really hard time taking the manuscript seriously after that.
If they made the innuendo on purpose, and then drew it out in some humorous way, it would make a great opening.
This is a reminder: check your first line. Read it by itself. Then check your first page. Going sentence by sentence here pays big dividends. Set the right tone — and definitely don’t set the wrong one.