Thursday, May 10, 2007

First lines

First lines. People often ask where they come from. I know where they come from--the question is, how do I stop them from coming?!

Ack! They come to me at all times.

Riding in the car can give me a sudden "burst of inspiration" in the form of a first line. I never said this burst results in a good first line, or even a passable first line, but simply a first line. Sometimes they rival the scent of a faulty catalytic converter, but hey, they're first lines.

Water seems to be an impetus for personal first lines. I'm deluged by them (lines, that is) while washing dishes, showering or even watering the lawn. Again, all fairly lousy first lines--for anything, let alone a novel of any value. Still, at least they're first lines.

Sleep brings its share of first lines also. I'm sure this must happen to're sleeping, or semi-sleeping, and a flash of "brilliance" shoots through your almost-unconscious mind. Determined to remember said shooting brilliance the next morning, your grope in the deepest recesses of your mind only to find...nothing. A bit of mental lint, perhaps, but no brilliance. Consider yourself lucky. I remember those little flashes, and believe me, they're not all brilliant. Actually, most of them stink so much that the mossy green leftovers in the plastic containers in the bottom corner of our fridge are more appealing. Believe me, it's true.

But for your early morning viewing pleasure I've got two of the most recent first lines that have passed through my head. Yes, I thought you might need a Thursday morning laugh. Here goes...

A chill of unease shot up Elizabeth Harding's spine as she crept down the dark, musty corridor. Slivers of light outlined the closed door ahead but the murmur of voices reached her. The answers she sought lay just beyond the door, hers for the taking...if she could force herself to open it, that is.

Torturous first lines number two...

I never meant for anyone to die. Not really. Well, not in the beginning, anyway.

See, I told you they were rubbish. So, What do you think? Should I revise these and send them to The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest?

Because really, where else should stinky first lines go?

Until next time. :)