Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, the Wednesday Edition!

stopwatch graphicCan’t wait until Friday for a little bit of impromptu creative writing?

Well, you’re in luck. Fresh off the presses, it’s an early edition of Friday Writing Sprints. With Fall in full swing, the days getting shorter, and NaNoWriMo just around the corner, what better time than today to do a little writing.

Before we get started, let’s stretch our creativity with a few minutes of Opening Line(s) Improv.

The opening line(s) of a story have a lot of jobs to do. As the writer’s invitation to the reader, they need to set the tone, catch the reader’s interest, indicate the conflict, and more. That’s a lot of responsibility to put onto a few dozen words.

While it’s actually considered a story, rather than an opening, the line below is a great example of how to pack a world of meaning in just a few words.

“For sale, baby shoes, never worn.” ~ Hemingway

Below are a few opening lines from a quick browse through my bookshelves. While all three are from Regency/Victorian romances, they are very distinct in the images they evoke. My favorite is the second one, with its dark, Gothic feel.

“I don’t want to meet him.” Leila jerked her arm from her husband’s grasp. “I have a painting to finish, and no time to make idle chit-chat with another dissolute aristocrat while you get drunk.” ~ Loretta Chase, Captives of the Night

“The Mad Monk of Monkcrest brooded in front of the fire. It was as if he stood at the edge of a well and looked down into the dark waters of melancholia. He had not yet fallen into the depths, but lately, on occasion, he sensed that his balance was disturbingly precarious.” ~ Amanda Quick, With This Ring

“At this moment, Miss Hannah Setterington could unequivocally state that she was alone. Completely, absolutely, bleakly alone.” ~ Christina Dodd, Rules of Attraction

One of my favorite opening lines was from a writing exercise on Jenny Crusie’s Cherry Forums a few years back:

Had I but known what evil lurked in Marybeth Anstruther’s heart, I never would have bought that salamander.

I’ll post my own effort later today, but for now it’s your turn.

  1. Brainstorm a story opening
  2. Write it down.
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Ready? Go!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Ah, you’re back. Kind of fun, right? Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

Now that you’re all warmed up, time to start sprinting.

As a reminder, the goal is to flex your writing skills and to jump start your creativity. It’s all about getting words on the page, not getting the perfect words on the page, so pull out that pen/paper, computer, or whatever your writing implements of choice are, and Write.

  1. Set a time period (i.e., 15 minutes)
  2. Write
  3. When you’re done, note your progress in the comments  (i.e., “15 minutes and 394 words”)
  4. Rinse and repeat

I hope to see some fun creative efforts and good word counts in the comments to motivate my own efforts.

Happy writing to all.

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, the Wednesday Edition!

  1. Long day at work, but did some sprinting when I (finally got home this evening). 344 words of free-writing on the new story. No opening line there yet, but here’s the final version of the opening line from The Traitor, which is finishing up in revisions:

    Although he was not a violent man, Michael Mordaunt, Viscount Wallingford, had no trouble visualizing the man across the desk being trampled by a run-away carriage. He didn’t normally react so strongly to strangers but, then again, he was rarely accused of being a traitor in the first five minutes of acquaintance.

  2. This is great! (-: And while I’m not ready to share my opening lines yet, I have to tell you, it was inspirational when I saw the post several days ago. I got a pretty decent opening line for a first draft, now!

    • Michaeline – Yay! for the draft opening line. I’ve been working on the opening line for my current draft for days. I keep going back to it because I haven’t got quite the right feeling that I wanted just yet. It’s getting better, just not right yet.

      Glad you found this post helpful.

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