Last week’s challenge: “The Secret Door.”
I love a good opening line.
You lead with a great first line in a story, man, that’s just hooks you right away, doesn’t it? It’s like a key to a door. Opens up the world and your interest in it lickety-split.
So, that’s what I want from you.
I want you to write one opening line.
And then I’ll pick three.
And if those three people are in the United States, I’ll send them a copy of my book, The Blue Blazes, when it comes out. If you’re in the UK or anywhere else across the big wide world, you may have to settle for a digital copy, but I’ll make sure to get you one just the same.
Now, some rules:
A line means one sentence, not two, not three.
You get one entry, not two, not three.
Put your entry in the comments below.
I’ll pick three of my favorites by the close of Thursday the 11th (11:59PM) and then the following challenge next Friday will be for you folks to pick one of the three opening lines and write a story based on it. Which means you also might want to take a gander at these suggestions:
Shorter is better than longer.
Try too to keep in mind that you’re writing an opening line for other stories; the trick is to write something engaging while still writing a line that could apply to a great many styles and genres of story. Something that appeals and hooks in this case not just readers but other writers, too.
You’re writing lines for potential, is my point.
That’s how I’ll pick my favorites. Based on their potential to make interesting stories.
So! You’ve got a little less than one week.
One opening line. Let’s see what you’ve got.
448 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: The Kick-Ass Opening Line”
My opening line: Some things never change.
Saved a lot of money on therapy bills the past couple of years consulting my German Shepherd mix instead of driving to some bland office with a still-life on the wall, telling an overeducated, under-experienced, credential-burdened wannabe doctor that my life was fucked, and paying their ludicrous fifty-minute fee, so that they could afford their yoga dues and their Vespa payment and their organic, local, blah blah blah cuisine and perhaps even a cute little Argyle sweater for their seven-pound dog.
The sky screamed of steel.
It all started with Batman underpants.
I like 😀
<– potty training a 3 year old boy. guess i just have it on the brain.
I’m not up to no good, but then again I’m not exactly up to no bad neither.
If you have a moment, friend, let me tell of how I came to have never existed.
Dang, that’s pretty good.
Thanks, it might be my greatest unwritten story. I have carried it for awhile. We will see.
Write it! You can always try it again. 🙂
He stands, wearing a lab coat, looking through the glass at the scientists hovering over the computer that was supposed to save the world.
My 15 year old son’s contribution: My anus was moist with blood … and vengance.
“You have to put he pause in, so it will be funny, just like I said it,” he says, haha
Your son is awesome!
Your fifteen year old son appears to be a genius 😀
Aren’t we all at age 15?
I concur, your kid knows how to bait a hook.
The gravel from the roadside held a surprising nutty taste as it covered his bottom lip.
End this at taste and that’s an awesome first line.
Or… “The gravel from the roadside held a surprising nutty taste as my face smashed into it.”
Yeah, possibly. I thought I’d leave it a bit ambiguous. 😉
When a pretty girl came up to me in the coffee shop and told me she was my great-grandmother, many times removed, I started looking around for hidden cameras.
The earth shook the day I was born.
Larry was on the toilet, shitting his brains out, while cleaning his gat.
When you’re shivering buck naked in a six foot deep grave you’ve just been forced at gunpoint to dig in the frozen Alaskan dirt, the one thing left you can be sure of is that the only way is up.
Here’s my entry:
If Beauregard had to kill one more person, it was going to be the death of him.
“Getting shot in the foot was painful, but it was a special kind of pain when the dumbass that pulled the trigger was yourself”
Go ahead, jump.
When the last cherry blossom falls, so will my axe.
The world is full of superheroes, I am not one of them.
The first time Charlie Gillespie found himself in the past, he blamed it on the drugs.
Fynn Hook knew, without a doubt, if the journalist put ink to this story, she’d be disembowelled, dismembered, decapitated, and her head would be placed on a pike as a warning to others.
They called themselves the Ganglia Club.
It was my fault the entire city was on fire, and I would do it again if it meant getting her back.
Is this possibly a reference to Jim Butcher’s “Blood Rites”? 😀
First line there, “The building was on fire and it wasn’t my fault.”
Wow, no I had no idea. I haven’t read any of Butcher’s books yet. Sounds good though! 🙂
Hah, you’re in excellent company then.
Although the downpour had stopped, the ground remained drenched, and the suspended rain drops chattered amongst the trees.
This is lovely.
When someone tells you not to look up it’s usually for a good reason.
‘As Paul closed the door and approached the bed, he knew he was going to end up killing her. ‘
I used this in ‘Deja Vu’ – chapter 8 – of book 3 of Fry Nelson Bounty Hunter… I went through all the chapters of my books, and this was the best one out of all of them.
If you’d like to read the blog…. let me know 🙂
I learned how to cut off my own leg from the internet.
The question is, why was your leg connected to the internet in the first place?
*I smiled as I cleaned the bloodied knife with the dead woman’s skirt and i was overjoyed for having another little memento to add to my collection of previous victims.*
(not sure myself if doing research for this man wouldn’t land me in jail! haha)
There were three things of note in the dingy office: the empty bottle of whiskey, the loaded pistol, and the man slumped on the desk between them.
A classic. A very good classic
After slicing through the waylaid Bible salesman’s carotid artery, I realized my social standing in this town would forever be different.
You learn something about yourself the first time you kill someone.
Nice! I think this one has a lot of potential for self-exploration. Makes me want to go into analytical psychology mode.
I may have to borrow this.
It seemed to be another normal day in the shop – selling books, making reassuring noises, whistling Gershwin.
The problem with the ringing phone wasn’t how loud it was, or that it hadn’t stopped ringing for an hour, but that Tom didn’t have a phone.
Some days it just didn’t pay to be dead.
If I spoke my mind my nuts would fall off. I like you’re blog. I like your style of writing. I like your attitude, you don’t give a shit. I give a shit. Usually at nine in th morning, but only if I eat a bran cereal, if I don’t its at six in the evening.
I think instead of killing the man, or woman for that matter, you could climb on to his head and fart on it. Or tip the contents of liquidised human or animal matter. That would do it.
Everyone cried when I spoke at Mum’s funeral, but the same family and friends only shouted at me when I claimed she cooked me breakfast the next day.
was it cooked nicely?
Model Girl didn’t look very model-like as she crawled on her knees towards the roasting bluerat.
Fuck, she thought.
Frances Harper was in trouble, the kind of trouble only a needle can get you out of.
It was darker than she imagined, but it was definitely blood, and it was splattering all over her new white chucks.
Sweat salted and blistered her upper lip.
Being on the run is never easy.
All around her men torn open by other men screamed, and she was glad she could not hear them.
I just want to make clear that I didn’t really mean to kill Captain Plenderleith, steal his ship and identity, and fake an assassination on his dead body to cover the whole thing up.
She knew Quınlan was dead, knew without any doubt because she, his wife, had watched him climb over the balcony railing and throw himself off without attempting to do anything to stop him.
It was the third time this week he woke up to a godling dangling a phallus in his face.
The foremost wish in my heart is that he never gave me his diary.
“I forgot to buy the oatmeal again,” Whitney mumbled, as her house keys slipped through her blood-soaked fingers and crashed to the floor.
Receiving a bullet engraved with your name should be a chilling indication that you had perhaps fucked with the wrong person, not an irritating piece of junk mail.
They lay there sweating.