Technique

opening line

Needful Things by Stephen King

“An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.

The best first line I ever wrote is the opening of ‘Needful Things.’ Printed by itself on a page in 20-point type: ‘You’ve been here before.’ All there by itself on one page, inviting the reader to keep reading. It suggests a familiar story.”

—Stephen King, author

Fassler, Joe. “Why Stephen King Spends ‘Months and Even Years’ Writing Opening Sentences.” The Atlantic. 23 Jul. 2013.

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