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”
I wasn’t thinking about my husband when my plane went down.
The ghost of a sparrow flitted through one wall and out the other.
The basket of chicken flew across the room while the infinitely large explosion of gunshots blasted through the door.
There still wasn’t a damned thing she could do about the green sludge backed up in the washer.
Harry wasn’t smart enough to work out how the Cheval Blanc ’47 ended up on the table but was he astute enough to stick around while she found out?
I am waiting for the night to fall.
I stole your shirts, while you stole looks.
Hemlock, overlooked and underappreciated, bitterly took center stage.
I watch my daughter, the sunlight dancing across her long dark hair, cradle her swollen belly and kneel to place the flowers on my empty grave.
Welcome to Wisconsin may be printed on the sign, but I am finally out of Illinois flashes through my mind as a thin smile emerges on my face.
It was only after I killed my boss for the third time that I realized something had gone horribly wrong with my reality.
Fate observed humanity, weighing her choices; in her right hand destruction, her left salvation.
“Give me back my son!,” He scream in the dark
As dawn broke over the meadow, the handkerchief was dropped, and the duelists started their chainsaws.
He fought, he rolled, he squirmed… and then he ejaculated.
She went back to bed.
By my calculation, the combined speed when my nose collided with her buttocks was
well over 20 miles an hour.
“You had ONE job, Mengele!!”
Data streamed from the survey lander’s sensors as it tore through the clouds before crashing into Erich von Daniken’s house, vaporizing it.
Between you, me and the wall, I like the scent of blood.
We all thought the damned thing was supposed to be dead; turned out it wasn’t.
Given time enough, the ratcatcher thought, the blowing sand would scrape hair from skin from meat from bone.
The old man looked down at his wife’s body and wondered what to do next.
“I’ve got the photo of the century!”
Motivational violence was a concept Charlie was very familiar with.
“Motivational violence” is brilliant.
I should have been figuring out how to dispose of Mr. Whitlock’s eviscerated remains, yet I found myself reflecting on the fact that just 4 hours earlier I was in the restroom at work staring at the empty roll of toilet paper wondering how my day could get any worse.
The madness that destroyed his mind was akin to a shattering mirror: his soul fragmented into a thousand shards.
I don’t know how many goddamn times I’ve told you that,
This was not just a standard wasp: this was a wasp with a vendetta.
You expect such massive trees to thunder all the way down, but this one just leaned toward its fellow redwoods who lovingly lowered the monolith onto the soft earth.
When most problem gamblers lose all their money to the devil, they bet their houses and cars; my father bet me.
The heel of the boot twists down on his cheek, smearing his eye’s view up shiny black leather, muffling the metallic “CLICK!” and her sweet voice: “It’s not that I don’t love you . . . I’m just not in love with you.”
Replace `love` with `loathe` and it’s even funnier! :))
It wasn’t the worst last day, but it was the last last day.
The realisation blossomed darkly, like a spreading stain of ink, that what I’d just done was irreversible.
Nice! This could go in soooo many directions.
Once James accepted that he had no choice but to burn the books, the question became which to burn first.
“You should know I have hair on my pussy,” she said.
I slammed on the brakes a lifetime too late.
I have a real talent for saying the wrong thing.
The boy’s hands were frozen around the neck of his half brother.
I woke up on the wrong side of a whisky-soaked armchair.
They felt a little on the lumpy side, but then they weren’t her breasts.
“One lame duck, two red herrings, three french hens? That’s it?”
She knew that were going to kill him, no matter how much she pleaded.
Frank’s scream caught in his throat as the head of his wife rolled to a stop at his feet.
This is the story of how I saved the world from the apocalypse by locking myself in a hotel room for three days with a pound of coke.
It was still 7:32
The door still swinging on its hinges, and my jacket flung, I poured myself three fingers of Thoughtless Gentleman and flopped onto my couch too late to see the dead man already sprawled upon it.
Silently falling, passing the lit and unlit windows of the office tower, he contemplated his last choices in life.
God was a lot more fun before someone bit off his hand.
The leaves were just turning on the day that I was born three times in a single hour.