Friday, November 28, 2008

Two Opening Lines I Want Use For Novels, Based on Recent Events or Actual Quotes

"The angel was protecting us, but then he lost his head."

"On the downside, I'm completely broke; on the upside, I have horseradish sauce."


The Celebrated Author said...

Are those the only ones you have? I have a file containing around thirty of those, plus the file with who-knows-how-many unsorted ones, plus the ones from my contest that I have not yet gotten around to putting into the first or the second file. Oh, and I don't have everybody's permission.

I have at least a thousand titles, too. It's terrible.

Ethan said...

Wow, that's actually pretty incredible. I do have more, though most of them I keep in a file in my Brain (which turns out not to be at all reliable as a storage space). Other titles and opening lines I keep scattered around various places--in email drafts, on napkins in my desk drawer, written in the backs of various books, etc.

The Celebrated Author said...


Yeah, I've disciplined myself pretty harshly to write down any "inspiration" *immediately*, because if I don't it's not likely to come back ever. I have random "inspirations" all over my notebooks and post-it notes and leftover church bulletins. It's mostly just the opening lines and titles I have somewhat organized. I also have a few e-mail drafts filled with random thoughts I have while I'm at the Semland library computers. I only have one napkin with notes on it, and none of them are for writing. However, I do have a pack of post-it notes by my bed and if I think of something in the middle of the night, I will write something on there, sometimes without turning on the light. This goes for everything from last minute packing details to a song on the radio I liked. There are, however, a few things that come up that just don't make sense, like the random 'organ shoes' or 'almonds'. I think my sleepy self is way too smart.


The Celebrated Author said...

And I haven't even gotten into my NaNoWriMo!

So I was really, really, REALLY tired, but I made myself keep writing. I was writing even though I would have several thoughts between each sentence and it didn't make as much sense any more. I closed my eyes because my eyes were itching in that tired way. I was drifting off... and then I was suddenly aware that I was drifting, and with no little effort I pulled myself, and realized that I was still typing, and stopped. I scanned the last paragraph; though the spelling and grammar were far below my usual standard, it kind of made sense with the story. It was my main character going on a short rant. Thing is, I didn't remember writing or even thinking that.

Oh, and then there's the out-of-the-blue sleep sentence: "But most of the time I prefer my songs on mythological beings came to earth."

I still have no idea where that came from.


NOT Freddy Jones said...

I'm still stealing the first one.
No. Not stealing.
Since it was said by a member of my family, I guess it'd be taking back. Sneakily.

TCA: I have used a great number of my books as sketchbooks. Not just in the backs or the margins, either.
They weren't library books, though. They were mine.
And they're still readable. They just have random bits of human anatomy drawn over them.

The Celebrated Author said...

I have one book I've written in. It's "Flip-Flop Girl" by Katherine Paterson (I was a big fan when I was younger), and I drew a pair of flip-flops on the title page. I was quite proud of them. They have shadows and everything.

That's about it. I'm glad you write in your own books; I just about flipped out when I found writing in a library book. I went through and erased it, page by page. It was hilarious, too; trying to evangelize me by making biblical comparisons to the things in the book.

The Celebrated Author said...

A few collected opening lines (sometimes several lines):

Im a genius in france

It was Monday, and definitely not a good day for a killing spree. But I went on one anyway.

She kept a notebook on her person at all times, just in case someone would say something interesting - sadly, it hadn't happened yet.

He was a dark and stormy knight. Also an idiot.

It wasn't every day one got to meet a woman with a neck longer than one's forearm; I knew I would have to make the most of this opportunity.

I wish my lawn was emo, so it would cut itself.

The world ended quite suddenly on a drizzly Thursday afternoon in March. Douglas Adams would have been proud, had the planet he was on still existed.

Some things aren't worth dying for. This was one of them.

The End.

"I am going to hit you until you stop moving."

People say the pen is mightier than the sword, and I think they're right. I mean, if you stab someone with a sword, they could recover. If you stab someone with a pen, they could also recover, but then they'd have ink poisoning so they'd die anyway.

A small brown turtle with a pink ribbon tied around its shell crawled around in her sock drawer.

"[character], what the hell are you doing? Last time I checked, that was not the way you were supposed to cook a burrito."

And that was it. Three coins, two beads and an unidenfiable object covered in fluff. Not the best start to a journey.

She took a deep breath forward and stepped into the fog; as she fell, she couldn't help but think how ironic it was that the world turned out to be flat after all."

A tree is a tree is a tree, unless you know the secret of how to look.

And that was when I realized I was wearing a red shirt.

She never expected her life to end like this.

"Tell me; do you see rain or the life that it brings?" (I'm planning to make the next remark a sarcastic one, unless I'm in an angsty mood.)

"If I don't like the way things are going, I'll show you how much like my father I really am." He clinked his glass against mine. "I'll leave." (He drank.)

"Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past."

If you plan to use any of these, I would appreciate a heads-up. By putting them here, I don't claim the sole right to any of them, but I did come up with some. (And OMG it's actually a word this time, in the word verification: spire. This is possibly the only thing in the world that would make me say "OMG".)

The Celebrated Author said...

Missed one: In a gargantuan explosion of fire and dust and ice, the Earth, the solar system and a good chunk of the galaxy blew up. And in the resulting silence, all that could be heard was a sheepish, "Oh... bugger."

Ethan said...

Lol, as I have said, these are pretty amazing.

And yes, I do write on books. And in them. My own, though. Those blank pages at the back of most books, I've found, are great when you're in public and inspiration hits.

Also, not Fred, I like that you're so upfront about sneakily taking your opening line back twice (counting Facebook).


NOT Freddy Jones said...

Ethan: Yes, I know. I might burst with pride.

TCA: Those are some pretty amazing first lines, especially the last one.

The Celebrated Author said...

Thanks. I guess I should have mentioned they're not all mine. Oh well.