it was a dark and stormy night

It was a dark and stormy night is a very common way to start a story, so common in fact this opening line has become a cliche due to being used in many stories and movies. It was a dark and stormy night was first written by a Victorian novelist by the name of Edward Bulwer-Lytton which wrote the novel Paul Clifford in 1830 and this was the very first line in the novel. The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest also uses the phrase as a signifier or purple prose.