A brief ad before today’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Gotta pay the bills.
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This will be fun.
Somehow, I discovered this hugely amusing website that gives you an opening sentence to your story.
What was amusing about it, though was…
it kinda works.
Some of the opening lines it generates are pretty darned good. As in, I’d read on if I were reading them at the start of a book.
Check it out.
Not bad, right?
Funny! But I want to read more.
A little strange, but okay…
I really like that one.
A bit bizarre, but it makes me want to read on.
After a while, you see a few kinda sound the same, just with different nouns throw in.
That got me to thinking.
“The last camel died at noon” is often referred to as the best opening line ever.
“Call me Ishmael” is maybe the most memorable.
The ones that don’t suck are often pretty good and they are that way because they do what the website says, they make you want to read on.
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(Okay, ad over.)
An opening line that makes you want to read on – that’s kind of the point, right?
And as much as I hate writing blurbs, I love writing opening lines – to the point where I will compile a lot of the story but not start writing in earnest until that magical opening line comes to me. At least, what I think I want when I start. Often we change our minds by the time we are finished.
Anyway, it made me realize two things:
Opening lines are more fun when they aren’t yours
There really is a kind of formula to them
Today’s Flash Fiction Challenge takes place on two levels
First, take a shot at the opening line generator a few times until a line grabs you.
Then using the random number generator HERE, replace the nouns in the opening sentence with nouns from the list below:
- Soap dish
- Box of rocks
(You can cheat a little, if the opportunity for something really funny requires a tad of creativity.)
3. Post your result in the comments section of this post.
The second challenge is much harder
After playing with the opening sentence generator a few times (okay, an hour) there seemed to be three or four distinct versions. One is a lot like camel died at noon, and others have a feel of some classic stories – which was intended, but it made me wonder – could we crack the code?
Can we determine just what the heck the structure is for that amazing opening sentence, so we can drop our own stuff in and have it work for us?
I don’t know.
Anyway, give it a shot on either level, and post your resulting sentence in the contents section. If you try to crack the code, or see a pattern, give me your thoughts on that, too.
Ready, set… Go!
Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Also available in paperback and audio book.
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