[Edit: Apologies that this didn’t post! I set it to auto-post and was a bit busy today, too busy to see it actually had not posted. But dangit, it’s still Friday so I’m getting in under the wire.]
Last week’s challenge is relevant here: The Return of the Opening Line Contest.
Your job this week is simple in concept, daunting in choice.
Clink that link. Then —
You need to go through the entries — er, all 400-500 of them — and find an opening line you like.
Then you will take that opening line and use that as the opening line of this week’s story.
(You may not choose your own.)
You’ve got the usual 1000 words.
Due by 4/25, noon EST.
Post the story with the chosen opening line at your blog or online space. Then drop a link in the comments here so we can track back and read the story.
That’s it. Grab a line and get to writing!
(I’ll be picking my top three favorites sometime in the next week.)
178 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Pick An Opening Line And Go”
I got: “You might think that, after the first few dozen times, dying wouldn’t hurt quite so much.”
Proper linking and line attribution when I’m at my laptop.
Yeah, definitely have to edit that.
Also, this was from Bob Pastorella’s line.
Nice little teaser, thanks for sharing.
I love it! How not to push a woman turning into something not seen before… 🙂
Reminds me of Dany and Viserys from Game of Thrones. Good job, man!
Thanks! Hadn’t thought of that, but I can see where you’d get that.
I enjoyed that, quite a moral tale I thought.
Wow. That was a hoot. (There’s a pun there somewhere.)
A couple of people have suggested that this is a preamble, that there’s a promise of more, but personally I think you’ve said all that needs to be said, and said it well. It feels to me like more would only serve to diffuse and dilute what you’ve done here.
Excellent work, sir.
I figured I would be quite a way down the page since I had to work a double shift today, but I guess not!
My theory as to why WordPress ate your scheduled post: You failed to acknowledge yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the terribleminds.com blog…
I used William Hardman’s opening line:
The fifth anniversary? Wuzza? This blog has been around — though not in WP format — for like, 10+ years, I think.
I refer to: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2009/04/18/huh-uh-where-are-my-pants/
Creepy stuff, man. I feel like this wants to be longer — and that the thumps should feature sooner, so we can hear the difference later. All the best!
Creepy and certainly got my attention, but I had to read it twice to get the full picture. If it were expanded I think I’d ‘enjoy’? it more.
Okay… I filed through a few and this one from Rebecca Shuttleworth really got me thinking…
and seeing a few of mine have been really into the horror/slasher genre lately, I thought to give you guys a different feel to my stuff altogether! 😀
Good start to what could be an intriguing novel.
You… Poor Castiel, I mean Daria.
Actually, Haniel is an Archangel who used to be good allies with Michael and Raphael. All three of these Archangels used to run and overlook everything on Earth from Heaven – according to my research. Haniel was one of the higher-ranking of the few who worked alongside God and Metatron (the Scribe to God) and so Castiel (whose name is really spelled Cassiel – Supernatural changed the named just a little) isn’t Daria… Haniel is really in the story and is one of the Angels looking after a human.
And yes, an Archangel can tether themselves to a human and be a Guardian Angel… this is just a twist I thought to add to the mythology. 🙂
I do like a good angel story. 🙂 That was a good set-up.
Intriguing, and definitely different from the others I’ve read so far! It feels like this is a snippet from a novel length story, partway through the first act. Are you into it enough to write a novel from it, do you think? Could be great!
Lots of good stuff in this. I really liked the bit on the highway, it read really well. It stopped too soon and that’s a sign that you should write more of this story.
[…] my offering for Chuck Wendig’s latest flash fiction challenge. The challenge was to pick a line from last week’s First Line challenge, and write 1,000 […]
This isn’t exactly in line with the challenge. Since the prompt wasn’t up, I posted a flash fiction of my own prompting on my blog. (I do FF every Friday.) But last week, I did sorta use my own suggestion. Not as a first line, but it’s in the story. So here it is:
That had a little bit of everything. Nicely done.
I used Heather Kamins’ line to give you “The Inevitability of Time” and prepared it for publication yesterday 🙂
Excellent tale. Fun to read and thoughtful, always a good combo.
Now that was a good read.
Oh, yay! Well done! That line’s been bouncing around my head for months and I had no idea what to do with it. What fun to see it leading into a totally unexpected story. 🙂
[…] Anew By Mark Gardner It’s the expected conclusion to Chuck’s Opening Lines Contest. I chose William Hardman’s line for my open. Instead of doing homework and studying for a […]
[…] *terribleminds:chuck wendig is running a Flash Fiction Challenge called “Pick an Opening Line and Go”. There were hundreds of opening lines to choose from and for some reason this one just tickled my naughty funnybone. (Please don’t add an r to that last word. Please don’t.) […]
“A cock ring is a funny thing – particularly when it’s not being used according to package instructions.”
Hilarious. I can hear the guests now, “Tell me after dinner we’re having coffee and not tea. Ahem.”
As in “Coffee, tea, or me?”
Sorry, stretch of a joke. Cock rings at the table leading to tea-bagging?
Now I think about what else they could be wrapped around. Apart from their intended purpose, of course.
Beyonce comes to mind “If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.” 😉
I chose this same line, went in a similar direction (i.e., what else can they be wrapped around) and got something entirely different.
I love what you did. Throttling of a different kind.
This is funny. Now I’m thinking of an infomercial, where a well-presented lady and gent show you all the amazing uses for cock rings.
Funny story! I read it and was reminded of certain horrorstories I have heard about children finding the drawer of sex toys. She’s lucky to just chose cock rings.
Sex toys, like guns, should be kept in a locked cabinet!
Thanks to Tom Shearer for this intro. Not for virgin ears. 🙂 Check it out here: http://glipho.com/writingbull/the-snarling-dog
Great fun — short but definitely not sweet!
Thanks. I had no idea how to end it until I got to it.
I’m seriously amused by this story. Thanks for sharing.
That’s an impressive list of inventive invective. Positively Shakespearean.
I credit my fun, yet questionable home training.
That was great! Your versatility with a raunchy insult has me floored.
Great story, very funny.
[…] challenge this week: The Opening Line Challenge. I used the opening line posited by a member called, simply, […]
I used the opening line posited by a member called, simply, Nikki: “There was a dead bird on the porch again.”
This was a fun one, and not nearly so dark as some of my other flash fiction. But still pretty weird.
1000 words exactly. Ornithoscillation is here: http://pavorisms.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/ornithoscillation/
I definitely got a Twilight Zone vibe from this one, or maybe Tales from the Crypt. Either way, I liked it.
I wasn’t able to guess the end before I got there and that’s a compliment. The story intrigued me and left me thinking afterwards. it’s a winner!
[…] Flash Fiction comes to you thanks to two people: Chuck Wendig for the prompt, and JC Hemphill for the opening […]
Thanks to JC Hemphill for the opening line “I met a man made of smoke today.” as it was truly exceptional to get the imagination running.
Enjoy “Carbon Empathy” at around 1,200 words:
Great story. That’s why this challenge rocks. It shows just how differently people’s minds work. I would have taken a totally different angle at this one.
Thanks, man! I had a couple different ideas about how to approach this one, but the kid saying it was the one that got to me.
I liked that quite a bit. Very vivid, which is tough to pull off in so few words. And it had my heart racing at the end!
Hey, thanks for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it since it was your opening line.
[…] baked this fragrant slice of flash fiction pie for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge, based on an opening line by Melissa Clare […]
Hi everyone. I’ve gone with Melissa Clare Wright’s fantastic opening line: He’d haunted her for three years, and she still hadn’t noticed. I loved the simple directness of that line — you’re straight into the story and you know what you’re getting.
You can read the story at http://jameswhitman.co.uk/paint-it-lemon-glacier-yellow/. Hope you enjoy it!
This was beautifully sad. And I didn’t even know that lemon-glacier-yellow was indeed a colour.
Thanks, springinkerl. If you check out Urban Dictionary, you’ll get a pretty good idea what shade of yellow that is. (And a great gift idea for that special someone in your life!)
Ooookay… you live and learn ^^
Though I’ll have to think hard if there’s a special someone in my life who deserves such a gift.
Nice. I don’t know if I feel worse for Danny or John. Probably John ’cause he may just be stuck there, and Danny’s got that kick-ass wooly mammoth.
Thanks, Scott. My own boys have got the kick-ass wooly mammoth, too. He’s awesome!
What a great story- I wasn’t expecting the ending, so sad! The tone reminded me a little of Andrew Kaufman’s All My Friends are Superheroes, which is one of my all-time favourites.
My goodness. That was so tender and sad.
Thanks, menomama3. Glad you liked it!
I didn’t think it was sad. John comes across as an interfering ghost who can’t leave the Living alone.
It was a good story, but I seem to have read it differently than others.
Thanks, Norma. John is a bit of a creep, it’s true. My partner doesn’t like him at all, and she has excellent people judgement.
Thanks for writing such a great story based on my line. I loved it.
Thanks again, Melissa. It was a great opening line — reminded me of Sue Townsend, who passed away recently (hence the book drop in the story).
I started with Tonia’s opening line: There was a little girl dancing in the graveyard. Here’s my piece, which I’m calling “Time Out”: http://reneeelizabeths.blogspot.com/2014/04/flash-fiction-time-out.html
I was hoping someone would choose the girl dancing in the graveyard line. It was the first in the comments that really grabbed hold of me, as well. Good show, Renee.
Very cool ghost story. Thanks.
Thanks. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂
Aw, damn. That story hurt. It was also awesome, and I’m glad you picked my line. ♥
Thanks, for the compliment and the opening line!
Very unique, and really well done!
Thank you! 🙂
I’m going to use Elkjo’s line: “I closed my mouth, opened the door, and left.”
I based my story for this week on Sam Phillips’ cryptic opening line. Another user was a bit disparaging about it in the comments, but I thought it was really interesting. The style reminded me of an extreme version of some of the accents I heard growing up in South London, so that’s where I based it. Welcome to cockney dystopia: http://gigantocellularis.tumblr.com/post/83331986590/flash-fiction-weal-or-woe
This was really cool — Lock Stock meets Fist of the North Star. Really enjoyed it, especially the “yellow streak” line.
Thanks for the opener, Jack: “Jeanette sighed as she put the hamster into the microwave.” Yep, I picked the hamster line! http://bethbishop.blogspot.com/2014/04/chucks-ff-challenge-happy-pawn.html
I like the idea of a series!
Nice twisted tale.
Very, very good. I used that line, too, but mine is a bit darker.
[…] Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge this week is the follow-up to last week’s Opening Line Contest. […]
“The first cut is not always the deepest,” the opening line of georgie538, brought forth some pictures. Pretty unpleasant, bloody and gory pictures, and the 980 words that emerged from them are not much better. You have been warned 🙂
The meditative description of the deed reminds me of the skinning scene from Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. And that ending… Well done.
[…] something I ended up doing for Chuck Wendig’s recent flash fiction challenge. It’s a short piece, obviously; the trick is that the opening line of the story […]
I went with Dangerdean’s “‘I always told you I’d be back,’ she said, whiskey breath hot against my neck.” It did the trick.
Just the sort of character that you like to see get what they deserve. Nice job.
Outstanding! That’s exactly the mood I envisioned. 🙂
Glad to hear that! Sometimes things just work out, I guess. =)
[…] My response to the Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge, Pick An Opening Line And Go. […]
Cheers! I haven’t read All My Friends are Superheroes, but the blurb sounds cool.
I chose: “A cock ring is a funny thing – particularly when it’s not being used according to package instructions.”
Very cool, thanks for sharing. Wasn’t expecting a hunter tale.
[…] an opener, writing a 1,000-word entry on it, then link back to his blog about it to enter into the running of being one of his top three favs. Yes, I said favs in the […]
Very fun to write starting with RDDuncan’s line:
I knew I was in trouble when my fingers started smoking.
[…] week we hit into some oddities. The challenge at Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds blog is a continuation from last week. Last week laid the ground work with the opening lines. This week […]
I can’t remember who put it out there but the opening line I went with was “I know it sounds bad, but I can explain.”
This is the story that came from it. http://www.10thdaypublishing.com/frozen-kiss/
I used Silent_Dan’s “The minotaur lay decapitated in a pool of blood in the alley behind Irish Murphy’s.” Fun challenge! Thanks, Chuck. 🙂
Story is here:
(Came in at 995 words in total.)
I used the opening line from Kellyfaunce “Yesterday, the cat spoke for the first time”. It was harder than I thought it’d be, but it turned out well. The cat’s fond of swearing, though, so considered yourselves warned.
I laughed. Oh, I laughed.
Pretty sure you channeled at least one of my cats here.
Oh, that’s funny!
[…] week’s Chuck Wendig challenge was to post an opening line of a story. This week’s challenge was to choose one of the couple hundred entries that other people had posted, and continue the story […]
[…] didn’t submit an opening line for last weeks challenge, but as part of this week’s challenge I sifted through each and every one of the over 500 comments, looking for one that spoke to me. […]
I picked Tonia’s line: “There was a little girl dancing in the graveyard.”
Does it annoy you if I say your story is charming? I think it has warmth and I love the child, she’s very real.
No, it doesn’t annoy me at all. Charming has its merits. (though of course I would love to hear words of awestruck adoration hehe) I know my story wasn’t earth shattering or anything. So thank you for reading and speaking your mind, it is always appreciated.
I picked Dita’s line: The book read like gibberish, until Silvia found one word – the word that changed her destiny in the first place. Here’s my story. http://underastarlitsky.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/if-you-go-down-to-the-woods-today/ PS. Happy Not-40th birthday, Chuck! don’t OD on cupcakes… (especially mini ones, they’re the addicting ones!)
I picked J.C. Hemphill’s line: I met a man made of smoke today.
And my link: http://silverjames.com/2014/04/22/smoke-flash-fiction-challenge/
Awesome, Silver! I really enjoyed that. Well-written and emotional. It’s great to see what people do with a single sentence.
BTW: The link you provided didn’t work, so I went through the main page to find it.
Ack! I obviously didn’t have enough caffeine today, JC! Here’s a corrected link: http://silverjames.com/2014/04/22/smoke-and-mirrors-flash-fiction-challenge/
I’m glad you liked my attempt at your line. It’s the one that really jumped out at me. I just sort of doodled it around and that’s what spilled out. 🙂
Thanks to George Kaltsios for providing an inspiring first line!
“Try as he might, the Postman could not stop looking through the keyhole.”
I wrote a story based on his line and the one I entered: “I met a man made of smoke today”, which comes in at a whopping 180 words.
Oops, link didn’t take – http://jchemphill.blogspot.com
I thought it was well-written, beautifully descriptive, you set the scene really well but…….somehow the end didn’t do it for me.
However the little snippet that you wrote on your own line was Great. I loved it.
Hey, thanks for reading! I think you might be right about the end. It didn’t have the impact I was hoping for. I’ll have to fix that in the next draft.
[…] week’s Wendig flash challenge. I went with the opening line “The prisoner could pass for human.” It went dark quick […]
I went with “The prisoner could pass for human.” Thanks for the line Carl!
‘wisps of oblivion curling off its body.’ Love that phrase. I liked the story although it seems like it should be part of something bigger.
Thanks, glad you liked it! And I tend to run into that problem a lot with these 1k challenges.
My effort is on Allison Forsythe’s opener.
‘Today I fed some ducks at your funeral’
Blatant Begging for Readers !!!
If you go to read my story you get the ‘Read one Get one Free offer’ available for limited period only.
(the Free story is the one I submitted for the ‘5 words’ challenge, nobody read that one either).
I picked Nate Harada’s line: My grandmother once told me that the first and deepest emotion of all men is fear.
Story is here: http://anunperfectlife.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/flash-fiction-wildfire/
I did not expect that ending! That said, I’m not sure about the narrator’s voice — it sometimes feels like he’s telling the woman things that he wouldn’t really have any reason to say to her, mainly for the reader’s benefit. Does that make sense?
That was for Norma, by the way…
Thanks for reading it.
Maybe it wasn’t obvious enough. He’s talking to the woman in his own mind. The only word he actually speaks to her is the question ‘Later?’
Can you give me some idea how I can clarify that please?
I got that he was talking to her in his mind, but I couldn’t understand why. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone else who might read it, but the guy didn’t seem to feel guilty or sad or angry. My reading was that he didn’t grasp the significance of what had happened at all.
It might help if you imagine why he’s talking to her — the point he’s trying to make or the emotion he’s trying to process. That way, instead of drifting into fairly bald narration (e.g. “you talked about your job, I made some coffee), you can stay in the heat of the moment from which he’s recalling these events. This might also help to make the ending feel like a climax, rather than a twist.
Hope that helps!
Thank you very much. I’m glad he came across as odd.
He is disassociated from her and from pretty much everything and everybody. When I read the original it felt weird so I was aiming for him to be a Sociopath, maybe I’ve succeeded?
[…] Flash Fiction Monster Fantasies I’m falling behind again with my flash fiction entries, but I have been holiday so honestly not caring too much about that. You gotta have priorities. Well, there’s a day left for me to have a go at this week’s flash fiction challenge at Terribleminds.com. […]
For this challenge I chose Ruth Dupre’s line “I’m Hungry; let’s kill someone.”
This is Monster Fantasies, I hope you like it.
I used Samantha J Mathis’ line “It was common knowledge that a knight was in need of a princess to rescue and Sir Gillian Lovejoy McManus had looked high and low for a lady of sufficient title in a sufficient amount of danger.”
Check it out here: http://wellfrockedlass.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/knight/
I think you’ve got a nice idea going on, but the story is unbalanced. You spend some time getting to the climactic scene and then it’s over before it’s begun. If you trim a bit from the earlier part you’ll be able to give us some more amusement at the end. I hope this is a helpful suggestion.
I went with the opening line:
“On my thirty-fifth birthday, I became single again.”
Here’s my meager contribution:
This is a good geeky idea and I was interested to see what would happen at the end. The hero’s attention to detail is impressive.
The story goes along nicely until the last section where the transition is a bit abrupt. Ree has developed a personality and I guess the remarks in the 7/11 indicate general male approval, but it isn’t entirely clear to me. I think you should stick to the past tense throughout because the change in the last scene doesn’t add anything .
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the feedback.
Here’s mine. Thanks, Jack, for providing the first line.
Oops, sorry. The first line is: Jeanette sighed as she put the hamster into the microwave.