The curse of the First line cliche. What do you think?

That makes sense and eliminates that option, certainly. Since we only have a few lines, we’re making a lot of guesses. Some of them will be wrong. :slight_smile:

I still feel the opening should begin closer to whatever is causing Julie to reflect in this moment. For example, Stand by Me doesn’t begin by recounting a sequence of events from the moment Gordie wakes up until he is reflecting after reading the headline of his childhood friend being killed. Is it the house, like the newspaper headline for Gordie, that is causing Julie to reflect on the event and the past or perhaps something or someone she is going to meet inside of it? Is it important to start the story at the start of her day for some reason for the reader? Is the note she left foreshadowing something?

I remember an article I read that described several of the reasons authors feel like they have to start the story at the beginning of the day/waking up. This feels like it fits one of them. I’ll see if I can find it tonight and I’ll reply with a link.

If the story is working for your readers, the opening doesn’t have to be perfect or follow ‘rules’, but I suspect you feel something is off only because you posted this topic question. :slight_smile:


I would really enjoy reading this article too. It sounds like it has a lot in can offer in the way of managing common stumbling blocks for writer’s. Please do share and thank you.

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Thanks for all your input. I will look forward to reading the article. I have decided to go back to my original opening- and take out the daybreak scene. Start her already at her childhood home. The home itself and a tree in the yard is what is causing her to reflect. She sees the tree in paragraph 2 and the story unfolds from there.


If you do go with a waking-up scene to start, make sure the character gets right into something straight away. It can be their morning jog, feeding the dogs, checking messages . . . don’t let them ruminate or move toward description/backstory/expose. They need a task and it needs to open up the character/setting/action. Wake up, put on the coffee, start a load of wash, pick up laundry throughout the house, and find recently fired pistol in your 14-year-old’s room wrapped in a blood-stained t-shirt.

I took the “waking up” paragraph out and went back to my original opening of Julie standing in front of her childhood home. thanks for all the comments!
BTW- My book is in production! Hope to have before the end of the year!


Bravo!!! (Thunderous applause ensue!!!)

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