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. Strips of print flyers hung by decaying bits of paste, urban cilia fluttering in the wind.

  2. 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!”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. “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?”

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

    • Oops typo, I meant:

      It would not be long before they realised that I had been passing back and forth through time.

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