54 great opening lines: 1

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë


From today I’m going to attempt a self-imposed challenge:  post 54 great opening lines from books on my shelves.  After reading a post by Zany4Days about challenging himself to paint a watercolour every day for 30 days, 100 days, the whole year, I’ve decided to study the first few words in good stories, an activity which might, which should, affect my own writing.  The opening lines that I post will be in English, but not all of them will be from English-language stories.  Some will be my translations of great French opening lines.  After browsing my bookshelves, I initially chose a figure of 50, but I could possibly come up with four more and make it 54, my age from today…

I’ll begin with the first line from a novel I read when I was 13 which gave me a plan for my life, a plan I haven’t always followed but, in hindsight, I see has often followed me.  It begins with:

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.

13 thoughts on “54 great opening lines: 1

    • Urrrr… If it’s not on my bookshelf, then it won’t be included. I’m sorry, I can tell you already, there are no Snoopy books on my shelves. Do you know what the opening line of ‘Paul Clifford’ is?


      • “It was a dark and stormy night…” (it goes on and on) The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest uses it as an example of overblown prose. Bulwer was a wordy Edwardian novelist, so if you don’t have any of his stuff, that’s a Good Thing. 🙂


  1. Here are my two fave opening lines: “It is 3000 light years to the Vatican” and “My mother died while making me a sandwich; if I had known it would kill her, I never would have asked.” ;o)


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