by Chara Kramer

Good writers borrow. Great writers steal.” –(supposedly) T.S. Eliot

Have you ever had the urge to write, but you just didn’t know what to write about? Didn’t know how to begin or even where to begin?

Try starting with the first sentence (or couple of sentences) of another book! There are plenty of authors who just can’t seem to get an idea, and then one sentence or one paragraph is put in front of them, and BAM! Inspiration strikes!

Try some of these first lines to get the ball rolling, and just see where it can take you:

  • “I never thought I’d have a story worth telling, at least not one about me. I always knew I was different, but until I discovered I had my own story, I never thought I was anything special.”

-Hero by Perry Moore

  • “It’s a Tuesday morning in February, and I get up as usual, and I stumble into the bathroom to take a shower in the dark. Which is my school-day method because it’s sort of like an extra ten minutes of sleep.”

-Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements

  • “You saw me before I saw you.”

-Stolen by Lucy Christopher

  • “[She] discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.”

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

  • “I like to run at night.”

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

  • “Usually hospitals had a distinct sterile smell, but Children’s Hospital of Birch Falls smelled like cinnamon buns.”

The Crushes by Pamela Wells

  • “The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it ‘the Riddle House,’ even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • “It wasn’t long ago that photographs of the Dashwood sisters’ ancestors—yellow with age, the occasional school picture of Ellie, Abby, and Georgie tucked into the edge of the frame—hung along the long, winding staircase at Holly House, the Dashwood family’s home for generations.”

The Dashwood Sisters’ Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton

  • “We didn’t always live on Mango Street.”

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros