Tuesday Tidbits: Bad Opening Lines

Remember these?

Yesterday’s Open Book Blog Hop reminded me of a post that I wrote. After scouring my blog, without success, I came to the conclusion that I hadn’t posted it. So, here it is:

Bad Opening Lines

I’ve always heard that the worst opening line for a book was: “It was a dark and stormy night.” I don’t know if someone made it up or it’s from an actual book. Bad writing was also featured in the movie, Throw Mama from the Train, where Billy Crystal writes: “The night was moist.”

It’s hard to write bad on purpose, but here is my attempt at the Top Ten Worst Opening Lines:

10. My feet were itchy, and I don’t know why.
9. He took a shot, and then another, and then another.
8. Three pigs, a cow, four chickens, and a sack full of potatoes. That’s not going to be nearly enough, he thought to himself.
7. The wind whistled. She whistled. She heard a whistle coming from the house next door. I think it was Mrs. Wilson.
6. “Meow,” said the cat. “What did you say?” asked its owner. “Meow,” repeated the cat. “Oh. I thought that’s what you meant,” the owner replied.
5. It was really dark. It was really quiet.  He walked really quickly because he was really scared of the night. Really.
4. Staring at the keyboard was not a way to inspire confidence, thought Infinite Monkey #299387647724
3. Running with scissors was not as complicated as it was made out to be. The difficulty was avoiding all the other marathoners.
2. I travelled back in time to stop myself from travelling back in time. It didn’t work. Obviously.
1. “Are you asleep?” she asked. “Yes. Are you?” he answered. “Yes,” she replied. Now that the pleasantries were out of the way, they could return to the task at hand—churning all that butter.


Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella trilogy, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.

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Published by Leon Stevens

I am an author, composer, and an artist. I published my first book of poetry: Lines by Leon – Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020 and a book of original classical guitar compositions. My latest book is a short story compilation of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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