This writing prompt focuses on the opening line of your story. In addition to helping you generate a story idea, it ensures that your novel is off to a great start. Develop an opening line that will grab the reader’s attention. Then build a story based on that line. Ask questions about who this story would be about, how does it lead to conflict, and what would be a cool way to end a story that begins this way?
I’ve included the opening lines from a couple of my favorite stories. What could you do with these lines as your starting point?
When I shoved through the doorway of Morley’s Joy House you’d have thought I was the old dude in black who lugs the sickle. (Red Iron Nights by Glen Cook.)
You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. (Frankenstein by Mary Shelly)
It was different this time; there was a dry pain in my lungs, and a deep ache in my bones, and a fire in my stomach that made me want to curl into a ball and mew like a kitten. (The Stars Must Wait by Keith Laumer.)
It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. (1984 by George Orwell.)
It was a dark and stormy night . . . (Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton)
How many times did I have to kill the same man? (Written for this exercise by Randy Lindsay.)
Dead Men Tell All Lies – For second-rate detective Cash Randall life consisted of tracking down dangerous psychopaths, praying his luck didn’t run out, and drinking hard when he survived the crazy cases he took. All of that changed when he killed Frankie Catalano. Two months later, Frankie was walking around town—alive. He claimed the universe had spat him back out because he was too dangerous to be kept dead.