He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled

First Line Generator: 100+ First Sentences to Spark Creativity

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  1. She had heard his excuses before, thousands of times, but this time she was sick of them.
  2. She had never known that a human body could twist into that position.
  3. The bookcases tilted at a precarious angle over the sleeping infant.
  4. He was a brave man except when it came to small, tight spaces like the tunnel in front of him.
  5. The rich couple was never generous, with their time or with their compliments.
  6. Richard Garlong Champion III believed that though he had never ridden a horse, it would come naturally to him.
  7. After his seven children had gone to sleep, the father piled the ten puppies into a sack and drown them in the river, but one managed to escape.
  8. The young couple, who’d just gotten engaged ten minutes earlier, didn’t think the hot air balloon was supposed to make a hissing sound.
  9. He thought he was the bully online, until a message popped up on his screen one night.
  10. If her husband had believed her when she said she was getting migraines every day, maybe she wouldn’t have left him.
  11. She got drunk even before the food arrived.
  12. He got her alone in his car on the darkened street.
  13. Everyone said that Amelie was a genius, but Albert never expected what she did one day at school.
  14. One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant it was safe; but she saw three flashes that night from beyond the bog, and they had never talked about what three flashes meant.
  15. The new boy liked making tiny little origami weapons — swords, spears, axes — and leaving them on his desk for the next class to find.
  16. 78 wasn’t very different than 77, Earl was discovering the day after his birthday.
  17. He would have married her all over again for their ten year anniversary, at least until the morning he discovered the emails between her and his colleague at work.
  18. I don’t want to work, ever, I don’t want to study, and I refuse to play this little life game that you all have set up for me.
  19. The best part of hating life is that nobody ever calls you an optimist.
  20. I wanted to be a winner, and that meant I was willing to cheat. 

[Writer’s note: I used to have 120 sentences, and a computer error erased them. Please be patient — I will rebuild them again.]

Stuck in a writing rut? Or just want to write something outside your normal genre?

This first line generator provides you with hundreds of first sentences to rev up your imagination.

What kind of creative writing prompts are these?

  • These first line prompts are written in the 3rd person
  • They are mostly realistic, not fantastical
  • They are 100% original to Bookfox

Every single one of these first lines should provide you with the energy to create some amazing stories.

4 Ways to Get the Most out of this First Line Generator:

  • Freewrite on the first one that grabs your interest.
    • Write as fast as you can without thinking. Go with the first ideas that come to you.
  • Don’t look at more than 20 first sentences before picking one. 
    • If you look at more than twenty, you can start to become a writing tourist, skipping through ideas for the fun of it rather than settling down and committing to just one. Don’t just window shop. Buy one and play with it.
  • Change whatever you need to.
    • Do you want the main character to be a woman or a girl instead of a man? Change it. Do you want the tense to be different? Change it. Do you want the location to be different? Change it.
  • Make your story character-based.
    • If the prompt gives you a person, add another one and create conflict between them. This is the heart of all stories: conflict between people. discover-build-challenge-1If you liked this first line generator, check out all the other creative writing prompts here at Bookfox. 

      Such as:

      • photo writing prompts
      • musical prompts
      • creative nonfiction prompts
      • first line generators
      • and more

If you end up writing something from one of these writing prompts, please leave a comment below on which first line gave you the inspiration. And certainly if you end up publishing something based on one of these prompts, let us know in the comment section so we can all congratulate you with some hearty electronic pats on the back.

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Co-Authors:

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Cassandra Hsiao is a rising senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of national playwriting competitions held by The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets.

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11 comments

  1. My English professor posted this as an aid for our “short short” assignment. I’ve tried to open it using 2 separate browsers and it hasn’t worked for either. Think something is wrong with the generator, would have been very helpful though!:)

  2. i do this stuff naturally XD i cant believe i do this kind of stuff like just write and don’t think naturally but my biggest problem is creating the first scene , I’ve got the characters, the will and happiness to write but where do is start? i cant start in the middle of a fight because i want to first grow the characters as in why he will jump in front of her to save her life from the thundering bullets . what is their relationship . i rewrite some times , i sometimes even put myself on a cliff hanger .