July 11, 2011

Writing Prompt: Opening Sentences

Posted by at 1:15 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writingprompt_bookWriting Prompt: Opening Sentences

"It was a dark and stormy night."

The classic first line of a good book. (Which also happens to be the first line of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.) It can make or break your impression of a book. Will it be love at first sight? Or will it end up under your bed living with dust bunnies and used Kleenex? Is it going to be an adventure? Tragedy? Hilarious diary? You can tell a lot about a book by its first line.

For example, the line "When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold." What book is this you may wonder? Elementary, my dear Watson, it's the first line of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games (for ages 12 and up).

Or how about "Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane." None other than the first line from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Try "First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary." This is from the one and only. . . Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

This one I also like, "The sky was the color of cat vomit." Can you guess? It's Scott Westerfeld's first line from Uglies (for ages 12 and up).

I could go on and on, but I'd rather hear from you guys! For today's Writing Prompt, if you were writing a book, what would your opening line be? Be as crazy as you want to be. You never know – all you budding writers could say you wrote it here first! Leave your First Line in the Comments below!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

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  1. eaglenegotiator3

    It was a dark and stormy night three men were in a cave and one said lets tell a story, it was a dark and stormy night three men were in a cave and one said lets tell a story.

  2. Lordofawesomeness

    The thought of dying is a horrible for kids my age.
    -Story of my life. (my own story)
    I could hear the wind wiping the flowers in the meadow, the air being used by the creatures creeping through the woods slowly and lightly making sure everyone and thing can have some, the birds hitting the wind with their soft, feathered wings making flight possible in the blue sky.
    -The wind Controller (My story too)
    A young brown wolf ran into a horrid scene; the burning of the grounds.
    - the wolf Wars (my story also)
    I woke up on a bag of trash, my dog next to me snoring.
    Serium -Chapter one (also mine)
    I was sitting at my desk in my room staring at a blank piece of lined paper.
    Peanut Butter (also mine)
    I had two seconds to get out.
    My MAx Ride Fan Fic
    I woke up in pain.
    Young Justice meets Girl Justice Meaghan’s POV (mine)

  3. redhorse20

    I have some! *clears throat*
    1. When you crash into a dark, mysterious alley, you don’t usually expect something good to happen.
    2. I apologize if the writing on the page is blurry, for as I write this I am crying.
    3. I feel like all my life I’ve been a lab rat.
    4. One day, my friend just randomly asked, “Do you wanna become famous?”
    5. My sister and I awoke at the same time to the sounds of crackling fire and sirens.
    The title I had for the first one was The Glitch, second, Smoke, third, Maturity, fourth, How to Become Famous in Three Days Stat, and the fifth doesn’t really have a title.

  4. Lilyluna411

    I have many stories, all with random beginning lines :)
    1. Dank air floated through the corridors, the rancid scent choking their lungs as the small group of soldiers scurried towards the dungeons, breathing heavily.
    2. Thea’s hair hung low on her back, loosely restrained in a disorderly braid; her jade eyes reflecting the majestic emerald water as she pondered into its depths, slender feet swinging over the edge of a probing branch.

  5. Lordofawesomeness

    I stayed calm behind the wall as the large hutchmen walked by.
    young brown wolf ran into a horrid scene; the burning of the grounds.
    The Wolf Wars (My book)
    I had two seconds to get out. Only two seconds.
    Maximum Ride fan fiction
    That’s two sentences

  6. percyj99

    Try these on for size.
    “Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.”
    “Five minutes before she died, Grace Cahill changed her will.”
    “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley ,of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
    “You grow up with a kid but you never really notice him.”
    “Carter here.”
    P.S. Yeah, that last one isn’t much help…

  7. Bianca

    You could see the light in her eyes as he reached out to her with grasping hands. But the hands that reached did not hold. There was too much distance between them now. So much so that he could no longer penetrate the barrier that divided them. The light left her eyes and again she was left empty. A piece of her broken off, kept with the man she once loved.
    We lived on the top of civilization; literally the top. Those who had contracted the disease were hidden in the depths of a dark pergatory.

  8. cyclopszeus1

    we dont have much time we could both die in the next second….okay a minute
    hope this is good thnx

  9. Onyxfairy5

    “I had to keep running! Faster! Faster! Faster!
    I woke up with a startled cry, I had the same dream-again. Mother told me it was just a nightmare and Father teased me saying that I should brush up on my cross-country if that dream were to come true. But the only person that takes it seriously is…”
    I’m starting a new book, its called “Isla of Lunaria” and well that’s my first sentence. Hope you like it!

  10. coolchicken3

    Here are three sentences I came up with:
    -It was coming closer
    -Have you ever been chased by a three-headed tiger in the middle of an inhabited jungle? I can tell you it is not the best way to spend a weekend.
    -I scanned the walls for any sign of a weakness but the minotaur was closing in on me fast.

  11. basiliskcode1

    i never new how the day i die would come but i didnt think it would be like this.
    i like this one probebly for a horror or a drama
    ltlmnstr 4evs

  12. SilverFairy1

    Hey its silver fairy ( thats right im a fairy whos silver!)
    jk… i wish tho woudent tht be so COOL!!!!! ONe day silver, one day. ok done with my daily freak out! Ok yes i am a writer i am working on a book which is about a girl who has forgettable power. What makes my book diffrent is tht there r so many suprises. ok and then first line of it is ( im gonna change the prologue!!)
    ” Why, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?! Do i even want to know? You know what, just, JUST LEAVE! Prepare too, cause when the battle comes, you’re dying first. that’s a promise! ”
    Ok so that wasent one line. btw If that was bad i made it up on the spot if it wasent bad then… i still made it up on the spot. i type alot. PCE READERS!!! AND WRITERS!!!! btw, im also a poet!!!

  13. magicalpanda1

    I’m sort of aiming to be an author when i grow up, and these are sentences i made up on my own~
    ~”Hold on!”Peter cried, I gripped on to his slipping hands and looked down to the bottomless crevice, if I fell, it was certain death.
    ~”I didn’t mean to kill Fluffy, it was an accident!”I said for what seemed like the millionth time.
    ~”Why do those creeps keep on following us?” I whispered to Ashley, she looked back at the weird men wearing black coats, black hats, and sunglasses and shrugged.
    ~Unless I managed to break the curse, everybody on Earth had only 120 hours left to live.
    ~Kelsey hated her birthday, it reminded her of too many scary memories she would rather forget.
    ~In the land of Magic, nobody died, there was always plenty of water and food, and the world was at peace, until I came along
    ~Because of my foolish mistake, my family, my friends, and my boyfriend had to pay the price with our lives

  14. Patricia

    1.The setting sun cast only a faint glow through the navy blue curtains, and Gabriel was glad for the coming darkness.
    2.As I gazed out at the desolate ruins of what had been the most beautiful city on Illieth,I couldn’t help but think ‘We will survive this.’
    3.She was known to the student body as ‘The Dark One’, not just for the color of her clothing, but also for the fact she resembled a vampire.

  15. Jaymie

    “10 minutes than im leaving!” Shawna said sternley. “i mean who takes 2 1/2 hours getting ready?Are you even listing?” No response “jenny?” shawna knocked on the bathroom door.”JEN open the door this isnt funny!” shawna got the key to the bathroom. She unlocked the door… She opened the door…
    Chapter 2
    “Hun you read to go?” alex said with foam from her toothpaste in her mouth. “Lemme grab my shoes.” Maxine her daughter said. She got her shoes walked into her moms bathroom and put them on. alex spit the foam. “Lets go.” Alex smiled. The got into alexs car and left. “Hey mom.” “yes hun.” “why did dad leave?” “He umm.” This was hard for her. She already knew the answer she was 12 and heard if before. but she wanted no NEEDED to hear it again and again. “He likes someone else hun.” “so hes in nevada?” “yes he didnt love the girl in seattle. He liked the girl in nevada.But there is much more to it.”
    Thats my new book i just started i only got 2 chaptars and its called double vision