Writing prompt: Coming up with an opening line

Suffering from writer’s block or need to add some spunk to your writing? The problem may be that you need to change up your routine. To that end, try this tip:

Stuck for a first sentence? Read an online list of the “greatest” opening lines for novels, short stories or nonfiction books. Which ones did you like the most? Emulate their style. For example, if “Call me Ishmael” is your favorite, you might write “My name used to be Jane” or “Most people call me Jack, but I’ve never figured out why.”


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.