‘On a dark and stormy night…’ and ‘Once upon a time…’ may be the most recognized opening story lines – but what are your favorites?
Here is a growing list of some of our favorite story-starters in literature. We will be adding more from your comments below so don’t be shy!
- 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. – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
- It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. – George Orwell, 1984
- Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes.- George Orwell, Animal Farm
- It was a pleasure to burn. – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
- Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.- John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
- In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. – Genesis
- Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
- All children, except one, grow up. – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
- It’s hot as hell in Martirio, but the papers on the porch are icy with the news.- DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little.
First Lines Submitted by Figgies
- The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed. – Stephen King, The Gunslinger (submitted by Samuel R. Barrera)
- It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (submitted by Bridget)
- Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure. – Albert Camus, The Stranger (submitted by Alec Moyes)
- When I was seventeen, my life changed forever. – Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember (submitted by Naomi Medrano)
- The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car. – Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian (submitted by @TheDarlingDana)
- Marley was dead: to begin with. – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (submitted by Liz Bertsch)
- Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (submitted by Monica Ines Solano)