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Amazing Opening Lines Are Overrated | by Margery Bayne | Oct

Icon lines that have burrowed their way into our brains and pop culture

I’m just saying that maybe they aren’t the most important things about beginning a story

Do you know what is more important than the first line of a story — whether novel or

Maybe this is observation bias here, but can you think of an iconic first line that didn’

A rhythm or quality of voice that allures the ear and catches the imagination, but they are

And, yes, I want my stories to be full of beautiful sentences, but from a writing process

Hey, and from a writing process perspective, maybe that works for some people like my professor (who

I need to take a top-down approach, look at the big picture of the story, figure out

Especially if a future draft or edit of the story will completely change that beginning anyway

One of the prime parts of the story that is worth skipping: the beginning

There is a lot of pressure on writing the beginning of the story

As pointed out above, those iconic opening lines give us creative writers a high benchmark to aim

Then, eventually, backtrack and discover the beginning of the story

Look up any list of “great first lines of literature” and you will see plenty that are

There are plenty of great stories, some of my favorite stories, which lack iconic first lines

But they have a strong and compelling opening, followed by a strong and compelling story

However, they can be a distraction to the writer and the writing process

And if you happen to come up with an amazing first line anyway, that’s a nice