Happy 2017! This post is for anyone who’s made a New Year’s resolution to be more creative, or to write more – which feels easy to do at the start of the year but can be tricky as time rolls on. You can get a bit stuck sometimes.
I’ve written here before about ways of getting yourself ‘unstuck’ and one of the things I always suggest doing is to steal a first line from somewhere else. Don’t worry – you can go back and change it afterwards. But by having the first line already, the pressure is off – you just have to keep going and see what happens next.
Here are a few of my favourite first lines from children’s and teen books. If you’re ever stuck for how to start a story, use one of these and just keep going – it’s that simple.
“Let’s begin with a happy ending.” (Jacqueline Wilson, Dustbin Baby)
“By bedtime all the faces, the voices had blurred for Charlotte to one face, one voice.” (Penelope Farmer, Charlotte Sometimes)
“You are not going to believe me, nobody in their right minds could possibly believe me, but it’s true, really it is!” (Mary Rogers, Freaky Friday)
“Sophie couldn’t sleep.” (Roald Dahl, The BFG)
“When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.” (Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden)
“Do you think bugs have dreams?” (Frances O’Roark Dowell, The Secret Language of Girls)
“First the colours.” (Markus Zusak, The Book Thief)