Flash Fiction Challenge: The Kick-Ass Opening Line

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”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. “Getting shot in the foot was painful, but it was a special kind of pain when the dumbass that pulled the trigger was yourself”

  6. 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.

  7. Although the downpour had stopped, the ground remained drenched, and the suspended rain drops chattered amongst the trees.

  8. ‘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 🙂

  9. *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)

  10. After slicing through the waylaid Bible salesman’s carotid artery, I realized my social standing in this town would forever be different.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Model Girl didn’t look very model-like as she crawled on her knees towards the roasting bluerat.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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