Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: The Opening Line

Go to your bookshelf. Pick a book–make it a famous one. Me, I’m looking at On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Open that sucker and write down the first line. Mine is:

I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up.

Now put the book away. Don’t look at it again. Even if you picked A Tale of Two Cities or Pride and Prejudice and are looking at one of literature’s most iconic lines, now you’re going to make it your own. Start writing. Even if it feels awful and stupid, you’re going to write for five minutes. Set a timer. Start now.

(Here’s mine. I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a writing exercise, for Pete’s sake!)

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