Friday’s Fun Find: Opening Lines

“Where’s Papa going with that ax?”

I thought, what with NaNo going on, you might need a little help with the opening line of your novel.

I don’t know about you, but the opening line is almost always the hardest line for me to write. I don’t care if it’s an essay, or a short story, or a novel. I know what I want to say. I just have the dickens of a time getting started. I mean, I sit there thinking that I could write a ton of words–if only I could get the perfect first line onto the paper.

So if you want inspiration, why not check out these well-known children’s books and how the authors began. Or take a peek at these adult novels and their auspicious beginnings.

(Pssst. One of my favorite novels begins:

“The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette.”
Can you guess the author/book?
Oh, Β dear. Now can you guess what I’ll be doing instead of writing???)
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9 thoughts on “Friday’s Fun Find: Opening Lines

  1. The thing about NaNo is if you’re fretting over the perfect first line, you’ll waste too much time. Just get it down, and when you sign that multi-million dollar publishing contract, THEN you can worry about it.

    No, I don’t know the book. Can I turn my laptop upside down, and will I find the answer there, at the bottom of your blog, written upside down?

    • You can *try* Sioux, but Google’s probably easier. πŸ˜‰

      I think when I did the first NaNo, I did just that, Sioux. You canNOT imagine how often my first line has changed for that novel. Or my first paragraph. Well, really, the first chapter. πŸ™‚

  2. Linda, you should try the November Poem-a-Day chapbook challenge. That’s doable with a five-year-old underfoot. (Though I imagine you can do just about anything you set your mind to…)

  3. Ahh…the Princess Bride! πŸ™‚

    My favorite first line, which is also the last line of the same book, is: “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” I read SE Hinton’s The Outsiders when I was in 7th grade, and I remember my delight upon reading the last line and realizing it was identical to the first. “Stay gold.” πŸ™‚

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