Friday, July 26, 2019

Do you have a killer first line? (yes, you need one)

Let's find out.
Post your first paragraph in the comment section below. Six sentences,70 words are general guidelines.

I"m going to cut off entries pretty early so don't dawdle.

Then I'm going to post the entries and make pointed comments.
If you don't want pointed comments, DO NOT POST.

This is not the QueryBunny!

Questions?
Well, fire away, but probably better to post first and ask questions later.

8:13 update: comments closed for now. I'll take a look and see if we can reopen but 20+ seems like a lot to assess.

More soon. And will be posted here. 

Post is up now.
I'm working my way through this a couple entries at a time as I take a break from tormenting clients with Brilliant Ideas for World Domination.

21 comments:

AJ Blythe said...

Erin Cooper read the petition and each word threw her a little more off balance. It would take more than a tyre weight to centre her again. The cloying scent of grease and stale beer flowed around her and scraped over her taste buds. Choking on the heavy air she turned and pushed her way out the doors of the Outback Hotel.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

Our mother wasn’t the kind you went looking for if she was missing. First because she’d be mad as heck if you found her and she didn’t want to be found and second because she always showed up in a day or two anyway.
So I wasn’t too alarmed that Sunday when I realized we kids were alone.

Kitty said...

Otis Pike would never know how much he helped Doris Pratt by dropping dead at The World Famous Bader’s CafĂ©. In fact, by a strange turn of events, just about the whole town of Dunder Mills was helped by his death, thanks to Doris who set things in motion, although “The Boys” would bicker over the who part for a long time.

Gail said...

"Get that stone out of his hoof, will you?” I said. We were nearly there, and out of water. Only three more miles, but still a big highway tunnel to get over. Not really a tunnel, I guess, but what else would you call an arched concrete barrier put over a highway to keep the rabble out? Map says it’s the old PA turnpike extension, I-476. I don’t care. Carbon fiber fencing is nearly impenetrable, and even without barbed wire, horses can’t climb.

julie.weathers said...

My hair was pinned up neatly off my neck as might befit a woman bound for execution. I wasn't, of course. Bankers can't kill me. They can only steal my property, though for a woman of the land, that would be as good as death.

nightsmusic said...

Duncan stood over the body of his wife, full with their unborn child, covered in blood from the attack. Dead. So very dead. He’d watched the life in her steal away, slowly, horrible in its relentless path, knowing there was naught to be done to save her. The attack had been too swift and vicious. The blood groove on his claymore dripped as relentlessly as her death.

Just Jan said...

The calendar proclaimed it Good Friday, but there was nothing good about that day. The weather was typical for Ivy Lake--unsure if it should rain or snow, it did neither. Instead, dingy clouds swirled over the treetops, sending thin offshoots to settle in the nooks and crannies of the lawn. I sat at my cherry writing desk staring at my phone. When it roused me again with its insistent ringing, I decided against answering. It had done enough for one day.

french sojourn said...


“All rise, for the honorable Judge Silvers,” the Bailiff said, watching George and the plaintiff rise,
Judge Silvers sat down and nodded for them to sit.
“Morning gentlemen, rough night?” she looked at the two men, and kind of focused on George and his grease stained coveralls. Her eyes moved to the gallery and paused. “I see we have a few guests in the courtroom.

Dena Pawling said...


Father never gave her a name. "You're nothing but a smudge," he'd said, with extra emphasis on the word smudge. “A smudge does not have a name.”

He'd flashed the thought at her with so much force, she staggered back as if he'd slapped her.

That was the day, several years ago, when she'd asked to go to school.

Cogs said...

Sarah Babbage’s last words would not be whispered, gasped, shrieked, or muttered. They wouldn’t be a plea. Or a prayer. A curse. Or a question. In fact, they wouldn’t be spoken at all. They would be typed. Frantically. On the bloodstained keyboard of her iMac Pro. And if Sarah had known she would write her last words on a computer, just like the hundreds of thousands of lines of code she had programmed in her life, she might have been amused. But, at the moment, last words were the last thing on her mind. She was running late and she needed to be home.

Unknown said...

She remembered.
It couldn’t be possible. It shouldn’t be possible.
The hair-thin dividing line between genuine memories and created ones gets fuzzy after a while, especially when you’re young. All the gaping blind spots in a four-year-old’s memory gradually get filled in by a overly-helpful brain unable to tolerate ignorance or ambiguity.
But, possible or not—helpful or not—Rhia remembered everything.

KariV said...

The ash around him reeked of judgement and shame. Ronan scooped another pile of what, until recently, had been his father’s workshop onto a borrowed shovel and, scoop by scoop, moved that pile to cart that would ferry the remains of their livelihood to the compost heap.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

It was Tuesday. I had to be out by Friday.
For six months I’d been drifting on the mercy of a generous New Yorker who let me borrow her apartment in the city for free. She was doing a favor for a friend. I wasn’t the friend, my husband’s lawyer was.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

“The world’s our oyster?” The barista poured a white foamy fern on the espresso. “Ha! Not for us. Here you go. I’ll let the boss know you’re here.”

Addison McDonel accepted her macchiato, grateful for the warmth against chilled fingers.

Quietly, she skirted other waiting customers. What she really wanted to do was give the barista a good shake, tell him, 'Wake up! Frame the quote out of context.'

Tamlyn said...

Marietta Pereira was watching her friends argue outside a tiny cafe in inner city Bourneham when unfamiliar magic twined around her. Nausea churned her stomach; the tempting aroma of coffee and cake smelt, for a moment, like garbage.

"Marietta? What's the matter?" Sarah turned immediately.

Fi rolled her eyes. "She's fine. She's distracting us."

Marietta ignored them. It had definitely been magic. It skittered across her skin, and the taste of honey lingered in her mouth.

NLiu said...

There was a time when I wanted to disappear into a black hole. I guess plenty of people feel like that. For most people, it doesn't happen. Not literally, anyway. But for me - well, it was different.

Melissa said...

Sol Chapa was born with a different first name, but being the first son after four daughters lent itself to the nickname Solo Veno—Spanish for he came alone. The moniker, granted by his grandfather, stuck. Despite his mother’s protests, his first name was quickly forgotten as Sol proved a far more fitting attribution to the boy who preferred a mile between him and civilization.

Kelly said...

Henry could see the lit-up neon Flashbacks marquee halfway down the block. Even in
daylight the sign flashed bright enough that anyone could notice it, not that many people did. Especially not people on this street, smack dab in the middle of New York City. Most of the people here had someplace important to be. They checked their phones while they walked, swinging brief cases and wearing dark suits, even though it was the first week of June. Henry dodged out of their way. He had someplace important to be, too. If there weren’t so many people, he might have run. Instead, Henry picked up his pace to a brisk walk. For every person he dodged without bumping into them, he gave himself ten points. If he accidentally hit them, minus ten. By the time Henry got to the entrance of Flashbacks he was up to 170 points and had only gotten three angry watch its – a new personal best!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

QUESTION:

I wasn't sure what constitutes first sentence. The book has a prologue. I know all the blah, blah, blah about prologues. (Some readers don't like them and don't read them).

SO...I posted the first sentence of Chapter 1.

Ellen said...

Penny walked through the propped-open front door and paused, picking at her sweat-damp shirt. “I think your next door neighbor is a racist,” she said.

Leora tried to turn her attention from the empty living room to the words her twenty-six-year-old daughter had just said, but her brain refused to focus. This happened a lot lately. Since her husband died eight months ago, her cerebrum had a tendency to short circuit.

KDJames said...

The first time she saw him he was shirtless and wearing a kilt. The second time, he was wearing a custom-tailored suit and destroying her grandfather on the witness stand. She didn't much like him either time.

It did nothing to change her opinion when the third time she saw him she was on her knees in the grass, wrestling an 80-pound black lab, while he stood there with worn jeans snug across narrow hips and a short-sleeved polo clinging to the muscles of his arms and chest, lips curved in a half-smile.

She was irritated with him before he even spoke.