“How to Bleed in the First Line” by James Altucher

“I like to study first lines,” James writes. “They have to be powerful: a few simple words that compel us to read the next 300 pages. How do the authors do it? How can I do it?”

He goes on to give us 12 of his favorites. A few examples:

* From The Stranger by Albert Camus: “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.”

* From 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez: “He’s facing the firing squad. How did he get there?”

* From Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut: “All this happened, more or less.”

* From A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan: “It began the usual way, in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel.”

* From Beloved by Toni Morrison: “124 was spiteful.”

Click here to read James’s entire essay.