We’ve all been told how important the beginning line is to our stories. I found a list of opening lines of well-known books. Would they be acceptable today? Some of them are quite well done, others…well, I am not so sure.
Writing and reading has changed so much over the years that I ponder what an editor or agent would have said to any of the authors of these classics. Opening lines have always been intriguing to me because I can’t write a decent one to save my life.
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” - Rebecca
“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.” - Madeline
“Call me Ishmael.” – Moby Dick
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” – Pride and Prejudice
“Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary” – The Raven
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – A tale of two Cities
“Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.” – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
“He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.” – The Old Man of the Sea
“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.” – The Red Badge of Courage
Do you have any favorites? I have always loved the beginning to Rebecca and it calls me back to read the story yet again.