Friday, November 20, 2009

New First Lines

by Susan Berger

I posted the answers for the last group of first lines and forgot to post any new lines. (Too involved in NanoWriMo story/) Here is a new group of first lines. Won’t you please send me some of your favorite first lings and also the first line of an unpublished story of your own? You can reach me at

How many have these books have your read? Which ones would you like to try?
1.Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.

2. The galaxy is an awfully big place so I don't expect you to know about my home world, Harmony; but my ancestors came from Earth.

3. Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.
3a."Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
4. It was a clear sparkling winter’s day.
5. Sylvester lived with his mother and father at Acorn Avenue in Oatsdale. One of his hobbies was collecting pebbles of unusual shape and color.

6. David’s Mom always said…”No David.”

7. The principal's office was becoming way too familiar. Tasha rubbed her sore knuckles and wished she was invisible.

8. In the biggest, brownest muddiest river in all Africa, two crocodiles lay with their heads just above the water. One of the crocodiles was enormous. The other was not so big.
9. Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.

10. “There are dragons in the twin’s vegetable garden.” Meg Murray took her head out of the refrigerator where she had been foraging for an after-school snack, and looked at her six-year-old brother. “What?”

11. Are you there God? It’s me Margaret. We’re moving today. I’m so scared God. I’ve never lived anywhere but here. Suppose I hate my new school? Suppose everyone there hates me? Please help me God. Don’t let New Jersey be too horrible. Thank you.


  1. Meg Murray was one of my all time favorite characters. She had gumption and heart. When Mrs. Whatsit explained the tesseract to her, I had my first true 'WOW!" moment in literature. I was thirteen and I suddenly and forever hooked on fantasy fiction.

    Thank you to my brother, Loch, for introducing me to this incredible book.

  2. I've read 3a and 11, and actually, 3a came up at a writers conference this weekend during a workshop on creating great beginnings.


  3. Thanks for coming Cheryl
    3a is definitely a great begining.
    I read # 2 on another list of great first lines. It inspired me to read the book.
    One of my favorite books of all time is number 9

  4. I agree with you Kim. I loved her books. Next to Tamora Pierce, she is one of my favorites. Funnily enough I could not really find a great first line from Tamora. Must try again

  5. wow, I need to get reading-
    love it


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