Openings: A Collection of First Lines from Everything (Books, Movies, Poems)

is a site that collects the opening lines to all manner of media: ficiton, poetry, movies, songs, etc. I found this through Metafilter Projects, and it’s one of those great concepts that made me go “Man, why didn’t I think of this?”

Most of the examples are kept very brief, averaging around 2-3 sentences, max. For things like movies or books, there are links to Amazon and other places. For articles, the links actually take you to the full articles themselves (which is nice).

It’s just launched, so definitely check back for more snippets. Or, you can go ahead and submit your own. I know that once I sent something in, I found myself thinking of other opening lines to submit.

My submission was the first lines to a short story entitled It’s Bad Luck to Die, by Elizabeth McCracken:

Maybe you wonder how a Jewish girl from Des Moines got Jesus Christ tattooed on her three times: ascending on one thigh, crucified on the other, and conducting a miniature apocalypse beneath the right shoulder.

The full opening, which is about 2-3 paragraphs, is a fantastic one and well worth checking out. You can see what I mean if you go to this Amazon page and click on the “Look Inside!” link. A great short story, and a great short story collection.

The World Moved
Ze Frank: An Invocation for Beginnings
Excerpt from “Niagara Falls All Over Again”
Another Excerpt from “Niagara Falls All Over Again”

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