Flash Fiction Challenge: Opening Sentence MashUps

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Your humble host.
your humble host

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.

1st line generator 1

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.

1st line generator 0

Not bad, right?

1st line generator 2

Funny! But I want to read more.

1st line generator 3

A little strange, but okay…

1st line generator 4Ooh. Intrigue.

1st line generator 5I really like that one.

1st line generator 6A 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.

I did a whole post on how BAD lots of bestsellers’ and classics’ opening lines were. They suck, a lot of them. (Click HERE and HERE and HERE for that bit of fun – they don’t all suck.)


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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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:

  1. Opening lines are more fun when they aren’t yours

  2. 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:

  1. Bulldozer
  2. Mouse
  3. Butt
  4. Skyscraper
  5. Bunny
  6. Banana
  7. Gravestone
  8. Soap dish
  9. Shoelace
  10. Box of rocks
  11. Pomegranate
  12. Horse

(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!


Your humble host.
your humble host
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.

PRE-ORDER Dan’s hilarious romantic comedy Poggibonsi, An Italian Misadventure NOW. Click HERE before April 20, 2017 to get it for $0.99.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Opening Sentence MashUps

  1. Original: The weekend when my family stole the Crown Jewels, I became a millionaire’s servant.

    New nouns: The weekend when my family stole the skyscraper, I became a millionaire’s mouse.


  2. Original: The bru-ha-ha of kittens is a choir that tricks the unwary traveller.

    Revamped: The pomegranate of box of rocks is a banana that tricks the unwary pomegranate.

    And this, folks, is why employers drug screen. :-/

    Made up from nowhere: I can’t say I was entirely caught off guard by the seemingly random cheeseburger smeared across my windshield.

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