The first and last lines of any story are the most important. It’s crucial to grab the reader’s attention with a captivating opening, and leave the story resonating in them with a powerful ending.
With that said, I provide my readers with a challenge.
Below are the first lines of famous and not so famous novels. Write a complete short story, of at least two pages, using ONE of these first lines as the LAST line of your own story. If none of these lines do it for you, use the first line from your favorite novel instead. This can be quite difficult and I’ve know writers who have had a hard time with it.
Challenge yourself and see what you can come up with:
1 – 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)
2 – Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
3 – Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Anna Karenina)
4 – Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. (The Trial)
5 – The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. (Murphy)
6 – Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. (The Sound and the Fury)
7 – It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. (City of Glass)
8 – The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. (Neuromancer)
9 – Where now? Who now? When now? (The Unnamable)
10 – They shoot the white girl first. (Paradise)
11 – For a long time, I went to bed early. (Swann’s Way)
12 – It was the day my grandmother exploded. (The Crow Road)
13 – It was a pleasure to burn. (Fahrenheit 451)
14 – It was love at first sight. (Catch 22)
15 – The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. (The Go-Between)
16 – Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women. (Middle Passage)
Write on, and if you succeed, please email your work to firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Accidental Blogger