Friday, September 30, 2011

25 Opening Lines, in 25 Words or Less

A few months ago I wrote 25 opening lines, though I never wrote any of the stories. Instead, I shared these sentences with writing friends at Emma's Writing Center, and today I'm sharing them on my blog. If anything on this list "sparks" a story for you, I hope you'll write it. Or if you feel encouraged to create your own list of opening lines that would also be great. The rule I set for myself was that no sentence could be more than 25 words.

The day the monkey arrived started out like any other, but by evening she could no longer remember her own name.

Everyone knows you can't eat your words, but she was so darn literal, and stubborn.

She hangs strands of glass beads in the window, to catch sunbeams, then she lets them go.

She wasn't comfortable living inside her own skin, but didn't know where else to go. 

Suddenly, all she wants is some good gossip, and someone to share it with while chopping garlic. 

Eventually she grew tired of waiting, but later she wished she'd still been standing on that street corner when it happened.

When she wants to see herself as others do, she doesn't look in the mirror or at photographs, she looks at the clouds, always changing.

There is a certain fictional character, and not the one you think it is, whose company she longs for.

She's afraid people would think less of her if they knew how emotionally attached she is to her stuffed animals.

Did you ever wonder why she avoids that particular shade of purple? 

She'd gone a long while without confessing anything to anyone, but once she began talking she couldn't stop. 

She was awake all night, worrying about the future of postal service in America, and in the morning she decided to train homing pigeons.

She indulges in lengthy monologs while watering her orchid, glad to have finally found her ideal listener.

She ties strands of miniature bells to her wrists and ankles, but even so, she is an oddly humorless woman.

When she realized how much she owed in library fines, she packed up all her belongings and left town.

She feels a certain fondness for people who can remove all their own teeth and then put them back in again.

Her art teacher said to paint a white egg on a white tablecloth, but she painted a polar bear in a blizzard instead.

She's been working on the same scarf for 4 years, knitting and unravelling, her daily meditation practice.

Nearly every day she's fooled by the plastic lilacs in her neighbor's flower-box.

From time to time she spits apple seeds into her palms and waits to see what might grow.

She never looks up, but keeps her eyes focused on the sidewalk, searching for something blue. 

She sends a message to her friend, dragging a long stick across the wet sand, but only the seagulls and crabs see it.

She's tired of her name, Mimi, so greedy and demanding; she decides to call herself Avocado, and hopes it will make her more generous.

She doesn't like polka dots, shoelaces, chopsticks, chewing gum, elephants, lined paper, zippers, the number nineteen, carnations, or girls who wear bangs. 

On days when there is an "ends-with-A" word rumbling around in her brain, she feels especially lucky, like today, with candelabra.