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”
First she broke the damn remote; then she broke my heart.
Galen walked down the hall to go outside, but before he did, he grabbed a handful of Lego’s, stuffed them into his coat pocket.
Strips of print flyers hung by decaying bits of paste, urban cilia fluttering in the wind.
Under the baleful gaze of the ghost-pale stand of sycamores, the merry-go-round slowly ground to a halt.
The banalities are the first thing to go, and the first thing you miss.
The dead shone like torches in the night.
The mirror rang and we heard the slip of paper slide through. Georgina fetched it and called through the doorway into the breakfast parlor. “Churchill is missing!”
God was advertising on my Weather Channel app, telling me he’s waiting for me, inviting me to walk to him, but I couldn’t get out of bed.
During the first ten seconds of free-fall, I stopped struggling against my restraints, ignored the screaming of the bees, and considered that perhaps, just perhaps, I should have ordered the oatmeal instead.
It was the jello that caught my attention.
‘Your father died’ is something you should hear only once in your life.
“You are one ugly ass little bitch, aren’t you?”
Armpit hair was the last thing on my mind.
Robert felt sure there was a reason he was naked in the middle of the airport, but right now, he couldn’t just bring it to mind.
You stood outside my window, dressed in the clothes I’d burried you in.
I set the last seal on my suit as the shuttle hit the atmosphere.
Had he woken just a minute earlier, the door would have been shut, he wouldn’t be missing five fingers and the psychiatric nurse wouldn’t be asking him if he’d bitten them all off one after the other.
Shit, I observed.
I’d never been one for funerals, much less the celebration of life that ensued, and as I sat at the bar morosely observing the bowels of my empty glass post-wake, inevitability, the void, and a few remaining drops of whiskey stared back.
“And so it begins,” I said, as flame rained down from the Heavens, and I swear to God this fucking anti-christ flipped her hair, popped her bubblegum and tittered, “I know, like, right?”
I gritted my teeth, I’d signed up for murder and eternal damnation, what I did not sign up for was babysitting the victim’s self-righteous kid.
I wasn’t there when they buried him.
Her axe thudded against the upright log and the splintering wood reaffirmed what needed to be done.
It’s bound to be a complex life when the first words your Papà says when he looks down at you are: “Where’s the pisellino?”
“Listen, I can’t explain right now, take the money and hide it, and if you don’t hear from me by tomorrow morning, it’s yours.”
Frank awoke from his sleep twenty minutes before opening his eyes, but only decided to view the world once he knew for certain that he could not get back into his dream.
The Haverly sisters sang harmony like a bamboo manicure, only bloodier and less pleasant.
The pack leader sank its teeth into her bare calf and she went face down in the mud.
When I noticed Shereen had left just enough of my demolished guitar to scratch “LIAR!!” across the soundboard, I instantly felt a blues lesson coming on.
I’ve been practicing to be George Clooney’s beard since I was 16.
“The hell you say,” the old lady roared.
Old and injured people always get a seat on the bus, but the sort of damage I’ve taken can’t be seen from outside.
I find the voices in my head distracting.
I concur, that is, re mine.
To the person taking forever in line at Starbucks: How about you hurry the Frappe up, and not order everything on the menu. Thank you, and good day.
It’s strangly comforting when the best outcome of a situation is complete and total failure.
Having an eleven inch wang isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.
“Wouldn’t you rather be a bad person than a dead one?”
Muttons may have been just a powder-monkey but he knew one thing: jockeying a coal ridge set with enough explosive to ass-fuck downtown Pyongyang just wasn’t worth time and half on a Saturday morning.
The child was, like most children of its breed, a fretfully attended sociopath.
If my heart had been in the right place, I’d be dead right now.
Trouble always starts with box cutters and pellet guns.
I woke up on a train with blood on my hands an no one around me noticed.
[…] The Kick-Ass Opening Line. The Shorter the better. […]
It is truly ironic that as the hot Mojave sun shines down on us in the middle of fucking nowhere with a broken down getaway car, the only thing he seems to be concerned about is where the hell his viagra is!
Keep the damn parrot!
It would be long before they realised that I had been passing back and forth through time.
Oops typo, I meant:
It would not be long before they realised that I had been passing back and forth through time.
“You’ve never lived until you’ve given birth to yourself.”
As she steps over the corpse, she thinks, “what the fuck, guess I’m good at something.”
Prima donnas aren’t born.