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Five Ways To Write The Perfect Opening Line

No matter what form your writing process takes place in, the fact of the matter is that we all struggle with the first line. It says so much about your piece, who you are as a writer, whether anyone is going to continue down the rest of the page, let alone the rest of the book. It can seem an impossible burden for any writer to accomplish. Fear not! Push through the anxieties, and you will do great things. Here is a list of five ways to help get you past the hump, and hopefully spark some creativity. When in doubt, go back to the basics, and learn all you can from the greats:

Be Vivid


Great first lines are lucid; they invite us into an image. You’ve heard it all before: show don’t tell. Well, the same rule can apply to opening sentences. For example, Ulrica Hume’s novel Poppies: I was born upside down, the umbilical cord looped twice around my neck.

What an incredible first line! Strange, yet tangible, not too familiar, yet not too abstract. The author didn’t get bogged down in the details either, just cut and dry, right to the point.

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