GAME: Hook my first line and sink her in to a paragraph!

Erin99

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I thought of a game this morning, sort of like I, Brian's thread on openings. I don't know if anyone would like it or if there's one the same already (I looked but didn't find), but here goes...


It might help to strengthen your story/chapter/scene openings. The poster before you leaves an intriguing opening sentence (which is a task in itself!), and you have to build it into an engaging, strong first paragraph or few lines - enough that, should the paragraph be in a published book, you'd want to read on. The trick is in keeping the reader hooked all the way through...

Oh, and no "It was a dark and stormy night" - we want original, interesting openers! Can be any genre, although speculative fiction is preferred.


Here's an action-packed opener for someone (and I'd love to know what goes on next!):




Klyst dived onto the sand as lightning smashed into the beach a few feet away.
 

J Riff

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Klyst dived onto the sand as lightning smashed into the beach a few feet away.
Fifty thousand volts of raw natural electricity crystallized the sand instantaneously, forming a smooth glassy surface that Klyst slid across like a whirligig on a frozen pond.
Klyst coasted away, off, skimming across the glass beach until his head impacted with the bulwarks of legendary Pier Nine at fifty miles an hour, and that's when the trouble started.

Madge had always wondered what the creature living under her washing machine was, and why her socks kept disappearing.
 

Hex

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Madge had always wondered what the creature living under her washing machine was, and why her socks kept disappearing.

Sometimes in the night, when she was failing to sleep, failing to read, failing to do anything but think about George and his unaccountable absence, she'd wander down to the kitchen and -- as she made herself the warming drink she would inevitably fail to drink -- think she'd detected a glimpse of movement, a suggestion of... tentacle in the grot-strewn shadows beneath her zanussi.

#

It is never wise to imprison a manticore.
 

Scott R. Forshaw

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Nonchalantly fervent - the epitome of confusion.
It is never wise to imprison a manticore. Manticores, as a rule, dislike imprisonment even more than barnacles do hammers, and the effect they have on their crunchy bits. Jeremy Dobbs wasn't aware of this fact, and unbeknownst to him, he was about to find out the hard way.



The blood red mists flowed across the open plain, tearing away at the life-force of anything foolish enough to stray into their path. Far away, in the city that never sleeps, a boy stirred, heart pounding. The nightmares were coming.
 

aliadamir

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The blood red mists flowed across the open plain, tearing away at the life-force of anything foolish enough to stray into their path. Far away, in the city that never sleeps, a boy stirred, heart pounding. The nightmares were coming. He wrestled with the comforter sticking to his hot, sweaty skin. It had been three months; he was sure that the threat was over. He looked out the window of his parent's sky-high apartment, reflective as a mirror in the night. He caught a glimpse of his face, scarred and burnt years ago. Then he saw past his own despicable visage to see it creeping, approaching the river. Bound, undoubtedly, for him. Bound for revenge.


The marble columns stretched their arms to the sky as if praying for forgiveness and guidance.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The marble columns stretched their arms to the sky as if praying for forgiveness and guidance. Dimitrios kicked aside a loose stone as he led his sheep through the ruins. He imagined that it had once been part of the statue of a god.

The sheep found a patch of sweet grass at the foot of a column. Dimitrios sighed, dropped his knapsack, and stretched his arms wide. He watched the clouds scurry across the sky. The thin white line of a jet stretched across them. Perhaps it was carrying tourists, full of the memories of an ancient land.

Dimitrios hummed a tune he had learned as a child, sweet and lonely. The sheep nudged each other in sleepy play. A soft breeze whispered in the grass. Dimitrios closed his eyes, half-drowsing.

Music lured him out of his daydreams. Dimitrios opened his eyes. A young man, hardly more than a boy, stood before him. He was dressed like a tourist in T-shirt and blue jeans, dirty sneakers on his feet. His hair was long and golden-brown, hiding most of his face. He played a slow, almost tuneless melody on a small wooden flute.

Dimitrios was about to welcome him to the old temple -- it was good business to keep the tourists happy -- when the man stopped playing. He lowered his flute and brushed the hair out of his face. His skin was very pale, his eyes as blue as the Aegean. He smiled.

"Thank you for remembering me." The man laughed softly and walked away. Dimitrios watched him vanish into a grove of olive trees beyond the temple. After a time, he gathered his sheep and led them back home. He decided that he would have to talk to the village priest about the man. If anyone understood such things, it would have to be a man of God.

______________________________________________________________

The garden of Doctor Corelli was particularly lovely this time of year.
 

J Riff

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The garden of Dr. Corelli was particularly lovely this time of year but
Madge was going to kill him anyway. Then she was going to burn down his evil castle and his garden too, and all could go to hell along with the vampire Corelli, and his evil deeds would be avenged. It made Madge sad to realize that the lovely rhohodendrons she was currently concealed amidst would shortly be a pile of ashes on a wind-swept wasteland but that was showbiz. Enough was enough.
Corelli emerged from the portico and Madge stood up and began firing, but Corelli was turning into smoke and disappearing...then she awoke from her dream and Corelli was there, at her window, in the form of a great purple bat. She groaned and went back to sleep.

Professor Crofton held the throbbing purple crystal aloft for all to see.
 

Talysia

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Professor Crofton held the throbbing purple crystal aloft for all to see. To get results from a minor exploratory dig like this was amazing, and his imagination seized upon the idea of whether the bigger crystals would hold any kind of scientific value. Even if they didn't, he thought, surely they must be worth something to the jewellers back home. Unusual gems from the frontier planets always fetched a nice price.

Crofton nodded at the lead miner to resume digging and stood back to watch as the group moved further into the cave. As he started to follow, he became aware that his finger was tapping along the side of the purple stone to the same crystalline throbbing. It was almost like a drumbeat, he thought idly. No, not quite a drumbeat, more like a...

More like a heartbeat.

--------------------------------

It has often been said that science is the next evolution of black magic.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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It has often been said that science is the next evolution of black magic. Consider, for example, the way in which the mystical fumblings of the alchemists led the way to modern chemistry. In a similar way, Clive Marshton hoped to transform theology into an exact, experimental science. He designed double-blind crossover studies to test the effect of prayer on rainfall and the healing of the sick. After several months without meaningful results, Marshton realized that something was studying him as well.

________________________________________________


The mirror's warped and dusty surface felt like old lace under Laura's fingers.
 

Boneman

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The mirror's warped and dusty surface felt like old lace under Laura's fingers. She picked out the words easily - being blind was the only advantage in complete darkness, and those in the room above knew light could never be allowed to fall upon the mirror. The words were etched in the Ancient tongue, and Laura whispered them softly.

"Ectar Alance, econder hance."

Her ears caught the echo; too soft for her guards to hear, though they tightened their grip at her whisper. If there had been light they would have seen the dust falling, and perhaps saved their own lives. The groaning of the stones should have alerted them, but their orders were clear: do not lose hold of the blind woman under any circumstances. Being crushed by tons of castle masonry probably didn't enter their minds, but when it happened, it was a blessing the darkness was complete.

Complete that is, until the fool holding a torch fell from above. The mirror grasped the light greedily, even though the flames extinguished almost immediately amidst the crashing rubble. It protected Laura, as she knew it would, the moment her fingers had picked out the words on the mirror.

----------------------------------------------------------------------


The alignment was incomplete.



ps: I really enjoyed doing this!!
 
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Juliana

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The alignment was incomplete. Without the last vertebrae, resurrection would be impossible. Blood and skin, soft organs such as heart and spleen, these the magic would fill out and form as necessary. But the primary shape, the 'bare bones', so to say, must be entire and without fault.

Myles swore softly and searched his lab for the tenth time. The bone had, quite simply, disappeared.

--------------------------------------------------------------

It was late afternoon and the water was tinted a sickly green by the solar flares.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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It was late afternoon and the water was tinted a sickly green by the solar flares. Nila wiped beads of moisture from her faceplate. In the distance she saw the gleaming tip of a tower above the water. Like an iceberg, most of the Divers' city was hidden beneath the surface. Nila adjusted the flow of oxygen, checked her environmental suit for any leaks, and walked into the alien sea. It was going to be a long swim.

_______________________________________________________________

I first met the cloudhealer on a warm day in February.
 

Talysia

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I first met the cloudhealer on a warm day in February. I remember thinking that he was a funny looking little man, with an apparently empty bag on his back and a gentle expression on his face. I felt strangely drawn to him, and I'm glad that I was able to watch him work, as a cloudhealer's job is a strange one. They weave the mists between their fingers, and let their efforts drift upwards to patch a spot in a cloud that needs fixing. How he evens knows what to do, and where to send his creations is beyond the likes of me, but I'm glad he's there. The prospect of a dramatic shift in the weather, caused by a cloudbreach, has only happened once before. I remember it well.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

It was a potion said to bring the very best of dreams.
 

Velocius quam lucem

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It was a potion said to bring the very best of dreams. The curators of the potion were ever mindful to avoid a single drop of it for fear they would become addicted like the multitude that they now harvested millions of Euros from every day. The people who came in droves no longer wanted life on Earth. For them, the apex of reality was their dream experience.

Elan sometimes related his experiences to Raphael, unaware that he was one the potion's suppliers. Raphael had maintained an aloof state of mind and didn't allow temptation to overcome him. At least not so far.

There was one dream that Elan conveyed with great enthusiasm that Raphael could not forestall his fascination with. Elan explained that he had gathered four of the greatest minds from history - Issac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking to engage them in a debate. Elan won the debate, leaving the four brilliant masters of knowledge dumfounded. Raphael was tempted to ask how Elan had accomplished this, but didn't dare for fear of becoming enraptured.

Elan began to explain exactly what he said in the dream, and Raphael ran from the room, knocking over several bottles of potion that commenced to break on the marble floor of the entryway. The potion was prone to vaporization. Soon the entire staff were asleep.

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The second moon of Tyrowe was said to eclipse the first moon only once every fifteenth decade. This time it was also a solar eclipse.
 

Boneman

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The second moon of Tyrowe was said to eclipse the first moon only once every fifteenth decade. This time it was also a solar eclipse. Citizens ran about like headless chickens, and chickens ran about like... well, chickens, actually. My sister and I watched form beneath the chicken shack, as the adults panicked. There were many deaths, mostly suicides, and a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Of course, we still had our milk teeth and they wouldn't gnash one bit. We pretended not to notice how embarrassed the adults were when the eclipse finished.




The sword had hung in the Hall of Soulsbane for two years before I stole it during the feast of the Deliverer.
 

barlennan

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The sword had hung in the Hall of Soulsbane for two years before I stole it during the feast of the Deliverer. After such a long period over the sulphur pit it had taken on a rich and gamey flavour. Soulsbane didn't notice me slip it from her plate, as she had imbibed a great deal of cheap Quicksilver. Indeed, she was so enthralled by her own drunken pontifications about magnet-fishing for electroplated silverware, that I had chewed it down to the hilt before she noticed.

There was an almighty fight, of course. Flintheart leapt to my aid - more out of contrariness than loyalty - and Wordstone clubbed his way around the room, using the escalating brawl as an excuse to revisit some old grudges.

That night is still remembered among the dwarves as the most fearful clangour that ever rang through the seven valleys. My fellow trolls remember it as a very good feast indeed, and Soulsbane has been the humble recipient of much praise for her skills as a hostess, whenever she has had the opportunity to air her recollections. I do not care to take any credit, I am quite happy only to remember the biting tang and subtle perfumes of that most incredible blade.



There were two tunnels, one large and one small.
 

Boneman

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There were two tunnels, one large and one small. And both frightened me. Legend has it the children of the dragoff used the smaller tunnels until they progressed to taking adults, then they could use the larger one. I didn't want to be taken by either, but the tunnels were my only way out. I removed my shoes, so I could move silently in my socks, and started down the smaller tunnel. The sound of sand sliding - grinding - froze me in place. There was no going back, and I drew my klashik.





The poisoned wine remained in the bottle.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The poisoned wine remained in the bottle. My adversary, elegant as always in a three-piece suit the color of stormclouds, toyed with his empty glass. "Really, my dear," he said. "A domestic red? Surely you do not expect me to end our little game in so undistinguished a fashion."


______________________________________________________________


Nathan reached into the paper bag, wondering what joke Miranda was playing on him this time.
 

Boneman

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Nathan reached into the paper bag, wondering what joke Miranda was playing on him this time. Being sucked into a vortex that transported him to the Amegaplex Universe probably wasn't one of the considerations he made before thrusting his hand inside, and the journey was singularly unpleasant.



"No father," I said. "A polarised laxity of newer kinetic energy readings."
 

J Riff

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"No father," I said. "A polarised laxity of newer kinetic energy readings."
"Oh." grumbled Dad. "I might have known. So why haven't you taken out the garbage yet?"
"Father... the Zingillians are at the Western frontier. we have six hours to live, if we are luc-"
"And the soap dish. You never clean it. It has that scummy film all over it. Dirtiest soap I've ever seen. Why-"
"Alright." I headed for the bathroom. "I'll take the garbage out next."
"That's better" said Dad, perking up. "Now... what you need to do, is
defibrillate the North sector heatsink gauges. Then, and only then - flick the power switch back and forth and jiggle the power cord. Works every time."

The screeching of jungle birds woke Norbert from dreams of pastoral beautitude.
 

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