Okay, you have to start somewhere. When you write a short, long, or mid length story, you have to have that first line.
Something I learned along the way: You cannot just start a story with First name Last name did something.
Does this really sound interesting: Polly Anna rounded the corner and plopped into her favorite chair.
Not to me.
Why not try this: "The world's full of Dicks, but not the one I want." Polly Anna plopped into her favorite chair. Her ex-boyfriend, Dick Tremain stared at her from across the room. "You're here and the man of my dreams roams the streets."
I like the second. Why? Because it sounds more interesting. The line draws you into the story.
A good friend of mine who happens to be a famous writer told me, "You gotta hook the reader from sentence one. If you start off boring, then you won't keep the reader's attention and you won't have the reader for the rest of the book."
There's nothing wrong with starting a story with the person's name and what they did, but that should be in the first draft version. For a final, make the opening interesting.
And would you believe, you don't HAVE to put the first and last name in the first line? Yep, you don't have to do that. For example, here's the lines from above with a little more:
"The world's full of Dicks, but not the one I want." Polly Anna plopped into her favorite chair. Her ex-boyfriend, Dick Tremain stared at her from across the room. "You're here and the man of my dreams roams the streets."
"I tried to fulfill your desires, but I can't compete with a ghost, Ms. White."
She crooked a brow. "It's not desire when it's over in a moment, Mr. Tremain."
See? You find out that her last name is White, but I didn't put it in the first line.
The key is to draw in the reader. Make them want more.
So now, as I try to finish my farmer (oh BTW, he's up to the 64k word count!), I'll close. But tell me... is there a novel in which the first line just grabbed you? Which one was it? Was there one that really stunk? Without embarrassing the guilty, which one was that? I'd love to know, as long as it's not one of mine (Nah, let me know if it's one of mine so I can fix it).