If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:
read a lot and write a lot. ~ Stephen King
I do both.
What follows are some of my favorite opening lines.
Can you name the titles of the books?
(See answers below!)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
“Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.”
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
“As a boy, I dreamed of fishing before I went, and went fishing before I caught anything, and knew fishermen before I became one.”
“I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.”
“Elspeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup.”
“Riding up the winding road of St. Agnes Cemetery in the back of the rattling old truck, Francis Phelan became aware that the dead, even more than the living, settled down in neighborhoods.”
“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was 14 when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”
“Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before.”
“It happens that I am going through a period of great unhappiness and loss just now. All my life I’ve heard people speak of finding themselves in acute pain, bankrupt in spirit and body, but I’ve never understood what they meant.”
“They’re all dead now.”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
- Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler (2001)
- The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (1953)
- Lines in the Water by David Adams Richards (1998)
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2005)
- Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (2009)
- Ironweed by William Kennedy (1979)
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)
- The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (2002)
- Unless by Carol Shields (2002)
- Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie McDonald (1996)
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)
If you have any favorite opening lines, please share. Would love to read them! Might even read the whole book!
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My best to you,