Start a story with a quote? Webster’s defines that as “please don’t”
“You can start a story with a quote twice in your career. Once when you’re an intern, and again if the Pope ever says f—.”
I have long had a similar rule for myself, which I’ve passed along to any writer who cared to listen: You can start a story with a quote, a song lyric or a dictionary definition once per decade.
Total. Not one of each per decade. I don’t think I used my allotment in either the ’90s or the ’00s, but it doesn’t roll over.
The real lesson: Avoid clichés. Like the plague. Ha.
How many times have you read a story and it started with, say, “Webster’s defines [some word] as …”?
Probably a lot of times. When you’re writing and you can think to yourself, “I’ve seen this before,” it’s time to change how you’re writing.