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peaceful sleepI dreamed of Suzy last night.

This story starter brought two immediate questions to mind. Who is Suzy? And was it a good dream or a nightmare?

There are countless possibilities. Was this a young man with hopeful thoughts about the girl of his dreams? Or the love he lost? Or an older man remembering his first wife … or a daughter that had been killed in a tragic accident?

What if this scene is about a young woman remembering a childhood friend she’d lost contact with and now she feels compelled to reconnect? Or is this a mother visited in her mind by her stillborn daughter and the remembered agony of that loss? Or perhaps even a teenager haunted by the school bully in her sleep?

The purpose of an opening line is to raise questions in the mind of the reader and get them to read on. This story starter certainly accomplishes that!

(By the way, this opener came from The Forbidden by Beverly Lewis, an Amish story published in 2008.)

What about you? What did you think would happen next? Who do you think Suzy is/was?

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