May 23, 2016

12 Opening Lines to Start Your Novel Right Now

12 writing prompts in one go. If you manage to tie these twelve into a single, coherent story, I'll gladly call you a genius.

1. In 2001 I buried a man and a woman in the desert, southeast of Pahrump. They claimed to be my siblings, which I know is a lie. In 2016, they showed up on my doorstep smiling, with a bunch of daffodils and a bottle of Volnay Clos d'Audignac like nothing had ever happened.

2. Dead set on making up for 1987, Paul crossed the street clutching the gun in his pocket.

3.  They called him Elbow Wizard on account of things tended to break open when he used his elbow on them — be they heads or walnuts.

Andreas Wiedemann

4. Mrs Belfry turned the unusual potato in the light, her thin old fingers so translucent Maria couldn't help but think of shower curtains and Victorian ghosts.

5. Theodore woke up in the garden, on the ground, about six years ahead of the alarm he had set the night before. He had time-traveled in his sleep again.

6. Silke touched the redwood and stopped breathing.

Ana Markovitj

7. The pigeons all looked suspicious, the crumbs on the ground no less.

8. Peterson turned to face the bay of Biscay and said, no force on this Earth will make me go look for my son when he doesn't want to be found.

9. There, I have come home, said the Tartessian in bad Greek. He pointed to a black pillar standing in the fog that mantled the shore. Howls and woebegone cries rose from that fog and one of the sailors covered his mouth: "Sirens!" he gasped. "No, not sirens," I said. "I smell something worse."

Hans Kanters

10. The disturbance began with a tour of the empty slaughterhouse.

11. A woman threw her glasses on the ground as I drove by and next thing I knew a fist-sized rock flew through my windshield.

12. Marcel sat down, flicked the imp off his desk and picked up his quill. "You will never finish this copy of yours," said the imp. "You do your duty, devil, and I do mine," said Marcel. "I shall blunt your nibs and vomit on your vellum!" said the imp, clambering up Marcel's leg.  

Scorpion Dagger

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