The best fake #NaNoWriMo opening lines

Every year, one hashtag takes us to dizzying new literary heights.

Mar 2, 2020, 12:51 pm*

Internet Culture


Miles Klee

Ah, National Novel Writing Month. It’s like a writing retreat for people who hate to write. Participants start typing on Nov. 1 with the intention of completing a 50,000-word manuscript by the time December rolls around, at which point the slush piles of editors and literary agents become entirely unmanageable. All the while, they issue social media updates on their progress, trade tips, and celebrate the orgy of perceived creativity that is NaNoWriMo. There’s also lots of talk about something called caffeine. Maybe you’ve heard of it?


It’d be easy to mock the idea of novel-writing as communal feel-good sport or self-help prescription—and so, every year, Weird Twitter does just that, using the beloved hashtag #NaNoWriMoOpeners to lampoon these amateur forays into prose. Think of it as an off-kilter twin to the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which challenges authors to pen the worst possible opening sentence for a book. Needless to say, people were excited:

Naturally, there are the painfully expositional genre-based entries:

Quite a few include some hallucinatory vision of President Barack Obama (or rival politicians):

Others embraced the NaNoWriMo’s Internet angle:

But let’s not forget fan fiction, always a NaNoWriMo staple:

The best submissions, however, were probably the ones that hit a bit too close to home:

Photo by Erica Fkiaras/Flickr

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*First Published: Nov 1, 2013, 4:30 pm