Fifty First Lines

Philip HarrisWritingLeave a Comment

Today is a holiday in Canada so I’m hoping to get a lot of writing and writerish stuff done. As a bit of an experiment, I decided to start the day off with a writing exercise and throw down fifty possible first lines for stories.

Some of them I may use but I thought I’d post them here for anyone who wants them. In the unlikely event that one of them tickles your creative fancy and you use it as the starting point for a story, just post a comment here so that I don’t do the same thing – we wouldn’t want either of us to be accused of being dirty rotten plagiarisers.

So, without further ado, here’s my unedited fifty first lines. No warranty is expressed or implied.

  1. Planets come and planets go but people never change.
  2. My wife was the first to die and I’ll always be grateful for that.
  3. It doesn’t really matter how hard I try I’ll never get used to the gnomes.
  4. The prophecy had never made sense, not even to the monks.
  5. The end of the world was his favourite point in time.
  6. Daniel needed the world to stop spinning.
  7. Time is not on my side.
  8. There are four things my father told me I needed to be a success – a cold calculating mind, a warm heart, a keen sense of style and a willingness to use all three.
  9. The knife still calls to me.
  10. Jackie wasn’t home when the devil called but her daughter was.
  11. You wouldn’t like me if you met me.
  12. I learned a valuable lesson this morning but I’m going to ignore it.
  13. I was victim number seven.
  14. The starship woke me three weeks earlier than I expected and I found myself alone with the ghosts.
  15. The ability to break someone’s heart is not to be admired.
  16. It took Edgar Milligan an hour to climb the tower with his rifle.
  17. High-orbit pilot Jenkins looked out over the planet, his hand poised above the launch control.
  18. There are more stars in the night sky than there are grains of sand on Earth but I’m only looking for one of them.
  19. “Spin the wheel,” said the clown.
  20. Night was coming and with it, the creatures.
  21. I’ve always asked myself if there is more to life, something bigger and better than the banal slice of reality I suffer through day after day.
  22. Nick stared at his wife, memorising the lines on her face, the colour of her hair, the sparkle in her eyes.
  23. My life would make an excellent movie.
  24. The blood red moon is a constant presence above South Talinia.
  25. Steve was six when the first of the fey arrived in his home.
  26. The real world is always worse than you imagine.
  27. My soul is lost.
  28. Of all the shops in the city, the clockmaker on Dawson Street is my favourite.
  29. My people worship a giant metal bird, a black steel raven that eats those it feels are unworthy and blocks out the sun with its giant wings when it is angry.
  30. Harry sat in the old oak tree and watched the shuttle take his parents away.
  31. I can hold everything I own in one hand and I’m still the happiest man on Earth.
  32. If there’s one thing I learned from my grandfather it’s that things can always get worse.
  33. I don’t like soup.
  34. Cell phones are the work of the devil.
  35. The world moved too fast for Larry, not matter how hard he tried to slow it down.
  36. I met my wife on Monday, married her on Tuesday and helped her kill a man on Wednesday.
  37. People always freak out on Mondays.
  38. Nobody really noticed when the village of Monkton disappeared.
  39. There aren’t really many good things I can say about David Winters but I’ll try to think of something.
  40. If I had a superpower it would be the ability to blend in to the world around me, to be completely anonymous.
  41. I expected living on another planet to be a lot more interesting.
  42. Mel sat on the beach and watched her world fall apart.
  43. I used to be a werewolf but I’m alright now.
  44. As soon as I saw The Abigail, I knew I was in trouble.
  45. What I left behind on Earth was more important than anything I took with me.
  46. I shouldn’t be here.
  47. If you don’t believe in ghosts, this story isn’t for you.
  48. I’ve never trusted demons.
  49. My name is Eric Hunter and my job is to stop the world from falling apart.
  50. The smog choked streets of Old Diel stretched out before me, a cancerous web of violence and despair.
[Fifty First Lines by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 18th April 2014]

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