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.
- Brainstorm a story opening
- Write it down.
- Post your results in the comments section.
*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.
- Set a time period (i.e., 15 minutes)
- When you’re done, note your progress in the comments (i.e., “15 minutes and 394 words”)
- 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.