Snoopy typewriterIt was a dark and stormy night.

Originally penned by Edward Bulwer-Lytton to open his 1830 novel Paul Clifford, these words became more well-known through the years, especially when used on Snoopy’s cartoon typewriter and as the opener in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time.  The same opening line for completely different stories.

What is it about an opening line that gets a story started? It needs something to establish the setting or characters. Something to pull the reader into the story and make them wonder what happens next. It’s the place to begin the adventure.

Starting today, I’m beginning an experiment to spark our collective creativity. I’ll supply an opening line and let’s imagine what happens next. What type of story would this be? Historical or contemporary? Suspense or romance? Fantasy, science-fiction, or Amish? Where does this take place? Big city or small town? Farm or exotic island? Who are the characters and what do they do for a living?

This week’s starter: It was a dark and stormy night.

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Story Starters – 1
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