A character keeps seeing this image in their dreams. Why? Does this place exist somewhere? Does it have special meaning to this character? Does your character have to go and find it? What happens? [YWP Photo Library; Photo by Harlie Johnson]
If you take a look at really good short stories or novels, you will see that they invariably have a great opening line. The first line in any story has a number of effects -- sets tone, jumps you into the action, establishes the setting or the conflict -- but all of them lure you in as a reader. Here are some good ones.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. -- George Orwell, 1984
This is the saddest story I have ever heard. — Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier, 1915
It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. — Paul Auster, City of Glass, 1985