The Perfect First Line

There are so many perfect first liners that begin the classic stories. Here are ten that I think are worthy of sharing.

Of course you are going to see plenty of lists compiled of fantastic opening lines in literature.  I share this link for one major reason.  There are three on this list where the opening line is only six words long.  Surely there are longer ones that immediately grab you, and even shorter ones (Moby Dick “Call me Ishmael”) but there is something about the six word intro that is so intriguing.

This may interest me so much because it reminds me of when I read an account about Ernest Hemingway.  He was told to tell a story in six words and he said the following:

“For sale, baby shoes never worn”

Such birthed the first flash fiction.  The first line of the story is so important and is often the one thing that people will remember about your story the most.  I find that I right my first line last because I want to know everything that it will need to say in the few words it has to say it in… if this makes sense

Of all my first liners, none of them hit me more then the first line of Prospects of a Wander Mind; “Elliot wore a suit, the day he ended his life.”

What are your favorite first lines of novels… and can anyone tell an entire story in six words?


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