Opening Lines of Famous Novels

Pick one of the famous opening lines below, adapt it and use it to inspire a story starter of your own.

Opening Lines of Famous Novels

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, "Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank."

Black Beauty, “The first place that I can well remember, was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.”

The Children of the New Forest, “The circumstances which I am about to relate to my juvenile readers took place in the year 1647.”

A Christmas carol, “Marley was dead to begin with.”

Gulliver’s Travels, “My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the third of five sons.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four privet drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal.”

The Hobbit, “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.”

James and the Giant Peach, “Until he was four years old, James Henry Trotter had a happy life.”

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,  “Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.”

Little Women,” “Christmas won’t be the same without any presents”, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.”

Mary Poppins, “If you want to find Cherry Tree lane all you have to do is ask a policeman at the crossroads.”

Peter Pan, “All children, except one, grow up.”

Rebecca, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

The Secret Garden, “When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her Uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable looking child ever seen.”

Pride and prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

The Water Babies, “Once upon a time, there was a little chimney-sweep and his name was Tom.”

White Fang, “Dark spruce forest frowned on either side of the frozen waterway.”

The Wind in the Willows, “The Mole had been working hard all the morning spring cleaning his little home.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, “Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife.”

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Opening lines from autobiographies.


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