Ever since I first learned how to hold a pencil I have loved writing stories. Over the years I have written everything from poetry to short stories, journal entries to essays, and have even won a few local writing contests! As I was thumbing through some of the twenty or so novels that I had started as a teen (and never finished) last night, I was struck with the realization that since starting university I haven't given myself time to do any real creative writing. While I always have ideas for stories floating around in my head, I've sadly been to overwhelmed with school and work to find the quiet time that I need to jot down my thoughts.
As a result I've made a new goal for myself to do some creative writing at least once a day for the rest of the summer! Whether its for 5 minutes or 2 hours, anything is better than nothing! The one thing that has always plagued me as a writer, however, is where to begin! I often find the opening line to a poem, story, or essay to be the most difficult part of the entire writing experience. I'll often spend hours agonizing over one sentence in an attempt to get it just right (I'm a bit of a perfectionist...), as the opening line can be crucial in setting the tone of everything which follows in its wake.
This got me to thinking about the opening lines to some of my favourite poems and books. I wonder, for instance, how long it took Jane Austen to pen the infamous opening to her novel Pride and Prejudice? And what about J.K. Rowling's bestseller Harry Potter? In appreciation and admiration of these great authors, I've included a list below (in no particular order) of some of my favourite opening lines, and those from other popular books. In my search I stumbled upon a blog which actually dedicates itself to opening lines of novels, so if you are interested check out Novel Openings!
What do you guys think? Do you find the opening line the most difficult in your own writing? What are some of your favourite opening lines?