One word? What! How? No way. Using a one or two word sentence to start out a story is an interesting way to begin. Many tend to be exclamations or questions or sharp action words that immediately engage the reader. Hundreds of established authors have used the technique and it seems to work well for them, so if you or your students are aspiring writers, give it a try.
The opening lines presented here, over 1,000 of them in a 69 page Word document, is a fascinating and often humorous presentation. You may wonder how a story could start off in such a manner and what would follow such an abrupt beginning. Your curiosity may have you finding the book and reading the rest of it for yourself! Go ahead. Really. It’s OK.
The collection includes selected opening lines from juvenile, young adult, and adult books in all genres. They are arranged alphabetically by the actual opening line for your convenience. Each entry includes the author, title, and date of the story.
Included are some ways you can use the collection of Opening Lines in the classroom to help improve reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and analytical skills.
As a lifelong reader and 15-year librarian, I have had access to literally tens of thousands of books, and I have collected these lines over a number of years (decades actually). I have personally viewed each book, verified each line, and keyed them all in myself.
Great for enhancing your lesson plans, Web and Year Book pages, newsletters, flyers, bookmarks, posters, and other educational and promotional materials for your library or classroom, you’re sure to find something here that you can use.
All the Opening Lines fall under the Fair Use guidelines of the Copyright Act and though they remain the property of the copyright holder, feel free to use them in the classroom as you please. They are presented in a user-friendly Word format so it’s easy to print, to do key-word searches (control + f), and to copy-and-paste.
This is just one of many such collections in the Literary Opening Lines series. See our other offerings for opening lines that contain animals, lines that feature libraries and librarians, lines that ask questions, lines with stormy weather, etc.