We’re nearing the end of October, which means it’s almost National Novel Writing Month again! If you are preparing to tackle the 50,000 word challenge, you may be nervous about trying to keep motivated and come up with some new ideas to write each day.
Last year we released a list of creative writing prompts to help jump-start your creativity during NaNoWriMo. This time we’re adding to the list with fifteen new prompts inspired by some great works of literature. Please note that these lines are all from famous novels, so if you do intend to publish your work you shouldn’t copy them verbatim. However, we hope they might inspire you to look at your settings and characters through a new lens and be just what you need to reach your goal!
- Call me ____ … [Moby Dick]
- It was a clear, sultry summer… [The Bell Jar]
- It is a truth universally acknowledged… [Pride and Prejudice]
- Many years later, as he… [100 Years of Solitude]
- It was a bright cold day in ____, and the clocks were striking ____… 
- It was always said that ____ would become a _____ when he grew up… [Go Tell It on the Mountain]
- This is the saddest story I have ever heard… [The Good Soldier]
- It was a wrong number that started it… [City of Glass]
- With a strength born of the decision that had just come to her in the middle of the night… [Praisesong for the Widow]
- All happy families are alike… [Anna Karenina]
- Don’t look for dignity in… [Big Machine]
- There was no possibility of… [Jane Eyre]
- A screaming comes across the sky… [Gravity’s Rainbow]
- I write this sitting in… [I Capture the Castle]
- In the town there were two ____… [The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter]
What novel’s opening line has most inspired you as a writer?
There’s an App for That!
Want to take these writing cues on the go? They are all available (plus many more) on our Paperblanks Journal Prompts App!
About Paperblanks: 25 years ago, we created Paperblanks to help keep book heritage alive and vital in our modern age, and to offer an inspiring space for people to express themselves. Thanks for joining us on this journey! For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.
Crafting the perfect opening line for a novel is so hard. I struggle with it a lot!
You’re definitely not alone in that! We find sometimes just writing down whatever comes to mind will help get you started and once your story comes together the perfect opening line may jump right out at you. Happy writing!
“The sky above the port was the color of television tuned to a dead channel.” (William Gibson, “Neuromancer”, Ace Books, New York, 1984)
Ooh, another great one!