Though "Once upon a time..." as an opening line may be overused, I've used the story structure of fairy tales as a starting point to write books, and have presented a class on doing this. It's a familiar and fun way to help writers dig into a story and let your imagination soar!
Since I'm celebrating the release of book 3 of my Collie Chronicles series, I'm offering the first paragraph of each of the stories in that series here. Nope, I didn't use "Once upon a time..." in any of these openings, but hopefully have issued an invitation to readers to settle in and find out what happens next.
We have to go. Chap put one paw on Francesca Durand’s shoulder and connected his thoughts with her dream world, projecting the scene of a fire.
I should not have let him go without me. Chessie Durand stood with her Collie in front of the waterfall that hid the stargate at her mother’s farm on Earth Three.