Opening Lines

Not very long ago, writing buddy Krystal wrote a post with the opening lines of her older writings and they were raw and often hilarious.

Recently, as I’ve been going on a cleaning binge, I piled a lot of writing-related stuff in one place.

(Note: should I ever warrant it, those things would probably comprise “my papers.”)

It’s a mix of stuff from elementary school through to post-graduate, most of it fiction, most of it unfinished.

Here are a few opening lines from a few key pieces:

Everyone was coming. All of Kit’s relatives, her children, her grandchildren, and her three great grandchildren. The family always gathered for Christmas and Thanksgiving and some Easter Sundays too.
But they also gathered on April 15. Then Kit could say why. Her brother and sister had died on this date 84 years ago.

–I Survived the Titanic, 1998

So, like, the Titanic obsession was strong when I wrote this, my first “novel.” It’s five pages single-spaced, by the way. 
Um, like, I’m not really sure what to say except that I used a lot of “and.” 
She was dead. Alexandra Isabelle Damon sat shaking in the flourescent-lit hospital room. Her legs were shaking, back and forth. She’d just seen her mother killed.
–From a story only known as “Murders,” 1997? 1998?

Basically, we start out where this girl’s mother gets killed (by her estranged father!) and he then kills all of her siblings–there are like six or seven of them. I don’t know if I finished the story or how gory it got, but it’s a good thing I wrote it at home away from teachers who might’ve thought I was seriously disturbed.
It occurred to Lennon McKinney that she loathed her hometown of NewYork City on the train, somewhere between Lexington and Fifth, when a man twice her size wavered and pushed her into the surrounding bed of unyielding bodies, none of whom wanted to be touched, during the morning rush hour.
–Book the First (2008)

Err…holy run on, Batman! I *think* this was the first draft of the longer version of Book the First. However, the sentiment expressed still stands. The subway is NYC’s lifeblood and yet it’s often so badly run that it’s an exercise in patience to use it. 

And New Yorkers are not known for their patience.
I stomp out of the catering hall to the sidewalk, stalking away from the people inside. My heels make sharp, exacting sounds against the concrete. I decide to walk left.

–Last Request, draft one

I knew this wedding was a bad idea from the moment I got that damn invitation. I stomp out of the restaurant to the sidewalk, stalking away from the people inside. My heels make sharp, exacting sounds against the concrete.

Not two steps later, it becomes obvious that the dress I’m wearing is too thin for a Boston September night .

–Last Request, draft 3 (2009-2010)

This didn’t change much from one draft to another.

The schooner was making good time; another week or so and the vast, empty Atlantic would become the verdant west coast of England.

–The Keegans of Banner’s Edge, draft one

As Miles Keegan laid eyes on the English shore, he wondered if he was doing the right thing.

–The Keegans of Banner’s Edge, draft eleventy-thousand (actually, probably 1.5)

I am not going to go over the million incarnations of this particular book, because seriously. So. Many.

8 thoughts on “Opening Lines

  1. Haha. ^_^ Yay! So glad you did this! Fun. ^_^It's so funny how we can forget how a story goes or do a \”rewrite\” that's almost just like the original. Style points for that super long sentence!


  2. Oh, I love it! I should go back and do the same thing…but the vast majority of my early writings (that I still have access to, anyway) is fanfic. *blush* I'm sure some of them are plenty cringeworthy!


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