You’re writing your autobiography. What’s your opening sentence?

I’m writing my autobiography, it seems, and someone wonders what the opening sentence would be? That’s not an easy answer, because the opening sentence is always the last part of the work. Most writers know this because it’s only when you get to the end that you understand how to make the opening sentence carry the load of what’s to come.

But I’ve clicked on the question, and I’m going to answer it. This is the (potential) opening sentence to my autobiography:

Alert: Are you sure you want to go further?

And because stories are never about only the first sentence, I’ll give you the rest of the paragraph, because that’s how long it takes for the full import of the whole book to tease, bait, and hook the reader:

If you step across this threshold, you need to understand that each life is unique, and the life unravelled herein is through the eyes of the person who lived it. The me who became Cage Dunn. Anyone who says otherwise about any of the persons, events, or conclusions are liars. Or family. Same thing. Believe what you will, laugh if you dare, and take every stage of this revelation with a pinch of salt, a toss of pepper, and a good handful of parsley.


And there you have the opening salvo of the never-to-become-reality autobiography of Cage Dunn, Fibber, Fabricator, and Teller-of-Tall-Tales (some of which may have a tinge of truth, but not telling which).

Angel gravestone full length back view in black and white

7 thoughts on “Perception

  1. I remember an old business adage: whoever writes the minutes has the last word.

    Usually, there’s an open comment period after people receive their copy of the minutes (or, in this case, your autobiography) – and most people are too lazy to read, revise, and get back to the minutes-taker in a timely fashion – so those words become canon, official history, permanent records – of ‘the truth.’

    So, if possible, always be the minutes-taker. You may thank me later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great opener! I would read more!
    I often write the opening sentence first but not always. If I write it first, it seems to come automatically from some innate force without thinking. If it is too boring and not catchy enough, I will re-write at the end of the article/story as you suggested.
    Coincidentally, I am discussing opening lines and hooks at my writing class this week! I can use your example for the memoir writers in the class.

    Liked by 2 people

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