#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz


Submissions for today’s #FirstLineFriday are officially closed now. My thanks to all who stopped by to see if this one rang a bell. I’m sorry—but maybe not surprised– to say we have no winners, though. While I was hoping I’d be wrong, I was also thinking this would be a tough one, and it turns out, I was right.  I hope you enjoyed taking a look at what’s considered an excellent first line, and without further ado, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

The year 1866 was signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.” is the opening line of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by French author, Jules Verne.

The novel was originally serialized from March 1869 through June 1870 in Pierre-Jules Hetzel’s fortnightly periodical, the Magasin d’éducation et de récréation. A deluxe octavo edition, published by Hetzel in November 1871, included 111 illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville and Édouard Riou. The book was widely acclaimed on its release and remains so; it is regarded as one of the premiere adventure novels and one of Verne’s greatest works, along with Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Its depiction of Captain Nemo’s underwater ship, the Nautilus, is regarded as ahead of its time, since it accurately describes many features of today’s submarines, which in the 1860s were comparatively primitive vessels.


The world’s surface has been explored. Humans have reached the land’s highest peaks and lowest vales. And yet vast regions of the planet remain unexplored. Much of the oceans’ vast depths remain a mystery. Few writers have dared imagine what lies beneath the waves. Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is one of the first novels to envision the vast environs locked beneath tons of swirling water. As ships are damaged and scientists report mysterious sightings of a massive sea monster, a ship is sent out to discover the beast. Only it turns out this monster is actually a ship, the most advanced submarine ever built. Follow the crew of the Nautilus as they explore the world’s oceans. They will confront giant squids, delve into the mysteries of Atlantis, and face new challenges none of them dared imagine.

Buy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea HERE

And that wraps up this week’s quiz, folks! Again, sorry I couldn’t give away any downloads, but I’m still happy to be sharing a book considered to be a pioneer in the genre and a great example of an opening line.

#FirstLineFriday will be back soon, and I’ll try to have something that rings a bell with more of you. Maybe. You never can tell. 😀  See you then!

21 thoughts on “#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz

    • Well, it was a hard one, anyway, Darlene! 😀 Nobody came close! 😦 But still, I think these are such great examples to us from a writerly standpoint. Hope you enjoyed pondering on it. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • Me, either, Gwen, and as I said, I’ve read the book and seen at least one film version. But that line did NOT stick in my mind. 😀 Thanks for visiting, though. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have heard of this book, of course. I’m not sure that I’ve seen the movie but I know I haven’t ever read the book.

    I did guess. Maybe that ringing in my head was from the submarine’s bells, Ms. Marcia. 🙂 I was nowhere near close with “Red Badge of Courage” by (ahem) Stephen Crane.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A very different book, yes, but The Red Badge of Courage was written in 1894, so not THAT long after Verne’s novel. Contemporaries, almost, though of course, Jules Verne was French. And now you will never forget Stephen Crane, either. Hehe.

      One thing I have learned with this quiz. The purpose of a good opening line is to pull a reader into the story, whether they later remember the line or not. (Most of the time, it seems not. 😀 ) I remember I very much enjoyed this book when I read it, but again, that was back in the 1950s, so who knows if I’d still like it as much today. Maybe I’ll give it another go, when I’m all caught up on the rest of my reading. (Like THAT will ever happen!)

      Thanks for stopping by, Ashlynn, and for not being afraid to make a guess. I wish it had been right, but I hope you enjoyed playing, anyway! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree that a great opening line draws you into the story. Sometimes because you wonder what they are talking about. Other times because they are relatable. I would love to create an opening line that is both. These contests do help me to become better at the craft of writing them.

        Our taste in books certainly does change over time. I think we should always keep in mind, the time period a book was written in so that we can put our imaginations in the right perspective.


    • You were in the right era, more or less, Jeanne. (I think I’ve done both of those in the past, but will double check my list.) I personally think this one is well worth the read, even 150 years later! 😀 Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll bet you’ll know the answer next time. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was a toughie, for sure. As I said, I’ve read the book and still didn’t recognize it. But thanks for checking it out, Jan. I’ll be running this feature every other week, if my newly revised, easier-on-me blogging schedule works well, so you’ll have more opportunities ahead. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


    • I agree, though I can’t take credit for making these properly challenging. 😀 I just copy them right off the list of 100 Best Opening Lines. Some of them are really challenging, and others a bit easier on the brain, but I think they give us a chance to see how some of the “greats” did it, and thus, we learn. (That’s the theory, anyway.) 😀 Thanks for stopping by, Trish. 😀


    • And no one else could guess, either, Mae! 😀 Including ME. (And believe me, I’ve read the book, seen the movie, etc, etc.)

      I love studying these first lines, and one thing this quiz has taught me is that a first line’s most important function is to pull the reader into the story. If it does that–sparks that insatiable curiosity to know what comes next–it has served its primary function perfectly, even if we don’t remember those words ever again.

      Of course, some first lines pull us into the story AND stick in our memories forever, but those are definitely the exceptions, I think. Or the ones that include the name of a person or place to clue us in. (“Call me Ishmael,” for instance.) Otherwise, it doesn’t matter if we forget opening lines, as long as they worked to lure us into the tale.

      So glad you enjoy these, Mae, and hope you’ll be back next time. (On my easier-to-manage schedule, I’ll be running them every other week. 😀 ) Thanks for stopping by, and hope the next one rings a bell. 🤗 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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