One Hundred Opening Lines

What’s the best opening line you ever heard? For me it was in New Orleans. I was standing at a stoplight in the French Quarter with two girlfriends when a young man weaved his way in our direction. He was probably ten years too young for me, daddy-long-leg proportions, sporting baggy pants with a good five inches of underwear sticking out the top. A dozen or more strands of oversized beads hung around his neck.

The guy stopped, turned and favored me with a once-over so comic it was like a scene from Roger Rabbit. I waited for what he might say only because the whole venture seemed so improbable. I was not disappointed.

“If I be yo bread, will you be my buttah?”

I was speechless, not just at the words but at his vast, swaggering optimism. As if nerdish professional tourist moms often jumped at the opportunity to bed underweight hip-hop wannabes who lived in their cars.

I never found out what else he had to say. My friend grabbed my elbow and steered me across the street, perhaps concerned that I was considering the proposition, which of course, I wasn’t.

But my point is, he had my attention. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to say next. There I was, head cocked to the side like a dog hearing a high-pitched sound, jaw gaping. I wasn’t going anywhere; this was going to be good.

And so it is, or should be, with your opening line for your book. That is my challenge for the day – for myself – and you too, if you’re up for it: write one hundred opening lines. Heck, you can write one or a hundred, but if you’re game, post your favorite in the comments.

Something brilliant is bound to turn up, right? Maybe not as good as “If I be yo bread will you be my buttah” but you never know.


  1. And the winner is: #42: Some smartass from the DOT painted the yellow line right smack down the creature’s back.

    Although I’m not crazy about opening with a swear word in a YA book.


  2. mlochner3

    He would have had me at “yo”….just sayin’……


    1. Lol, he was hard to resist, that’s for sure.


  3. girl, yo legs must be tired ‘cuz you been runnin’ through my mind ALL DAY LONG!


    1. Ha – yeah.
      See now that’s the stuff I’m talkin bout.


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