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25 Sentences Starters to Boost Your Creative Flow and Enliven Your Writing Practice

Bring play into your writing practice with these enchanting sentence starters sure to blast the cobwebs off your flow.

One of my favorite ways to warm up my writer's imagination is to begin with some low-stakes word play with storytelling that starts and ends in places totally unexpected. Below are a collection of sentences I love from authors who's work you've likely read. What do they all share in common? They each offer a provocative start to your next story. Find the one that speaks to you. Write from a place of possibility and knowing. Set the timer to write for 10 minutes, or just keep writing until the story is complete. Above all, have fun!


Some winters happen in the sun. (Katherine May)

The customs queue at Los Angeles International Airport at 5:30 a.m. is a lonely place. (Sarah Wilson)

You wouldn’t have known me a year ago. (Amy Bloom)

I wanted excellence in the knife-throw. (Sharon Olds)

I would always rather be happy than dignified. (Charlotte Bronte)

In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

The half-life of love is forever. (Junot Diaz)

Wolves have marvelous legs. (Edward Hoagland)

She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. (J. D. Salinger)

I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night. (Khaled Hosseini)

At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. (Willa Cather)

One was where we came from, and the other what we would become. (Sarah Wilson)

“Dear God,” she prayed, “Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.” (Betty Smith)

She was lost in her longing to understand. (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Walking through security was like dying — the way you had to say goodbye to everyone, the way you became just your name on a paper and gave up your money and your watch and your shoes. (Elif Batuman)

When is silence a lie? (John Edgar Wideman)

Creation is a huge beginning, not a finished end. (John O’Donohue)

“Marvelous!” exclaimed Maurice as he stamped into the house. “These Indians have a real Art of their own.” (Mabel Dodge Luhan)

Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction, and somewhere in the terra incognita in between lies a life of discovery. (Rebecca Solnit)

For me, New York ended as soon as it began. (Eula Bliss)

I have on a low-backed, peach-colored dress with spaghetti straps and a giant, itching wrist corsage made of greenery and tipped carnations. (JoAnn Beard)

My heart to him is like a pond to a crane: He wades into it as far as he dares, and then attempts to snatch up what little fish come shoreward from the center. (Jim Shepard)

Who wants to be a goddess when we can be human? (Terry Tempest Williams)

We are strangers and sojourners, soft dots on the rocks. (Annie Dillard)

Someday spider-silkworms might spin a fiber that could be woven into a bulletproof vest. (Priscilla Long)


Happy creating!


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