Once upon a time, and longer ago than I like to admit, I wrote story starter ideas on 3 by 5 cards and tossed them into shoe boxes. Now that I have been reading for some time in the Kindle format, I have been highlighting how stories begin in collections of stories and fairy tales.
In some of the volumes of Andrew Lang’s volumes of fairy tales there are many ancient tales that begin in original styles. The boiler-plate beginnings belong to a later era in literature.
Sometimes a story actually comes in different versions. There are two versions of the three bears. In the familiar story it involves a young girl named Goldilocks. Apparently the original tale involved an older homeless woman. Perhaps the later teller of the tale should begin thusly, “Twice upon a time….”