Write an opening that would stop you buying a book

AnRoinnUltra

Cé scéal tuthóg?
Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
984
Lifting for Life - My life on the bench press by Jake Stevenhoffen

As a fifty seven year old Powerlifting world champion I'm often asked the question, 'what are you on?'

I always tell them I'm on early mornings, early nights, and a diet of fruit and vegetables. And hard work. It's a winning combination that every other Powerlifter isn't aware of.

I have never been caught taking performance enhancing drugs, and never plan to be either.

This book tells the true story of how I managed to defy sports science and the human ageing process using beetroot and green tea. It will describe years of repeatedly lifting heavy objects, and the elaborate reasons I only end up competing where there are no doping controls. It will also describe the time an airline lost my luggage during a flight connection at Frankfurt airport.
 

Astro Pen

Write now.
Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
1,934
Location
Wales UK
THE ASHEN THRONE. Book one of THE CROWN OF DUST
PROLOGUE
Dust and ashes lay everywhere, like the dust and ashes of the Kulshak Empire's hopes. On the steps of her war pavillion, the Unqueen Gharamouk Wandomium gazed out over the hills of the slain and contemptuously licked the blood from her saber. There was a noise behind her, the rattling of a kicked skull bouncing across the braided fingerbone matting. She turned. Unprince Khakhamole stood there dressed in sumptuous human-leather robes with his jewelled crossbow levelled, the tip of the dart gleaming with the distinctive green of deathslug venom. He sneered. "Thank you, Mother, for doing all this work for me. I shall take my prize now."
"Do it!" she snapped. "What did I teach you, son? Never gloat before your foe is writhing in their last agonies at your feet."
"Very well. Goodbye, Mother." He pulled the trigger. Then fell to the ground writhing in his last agonies as the bolt flew backwards and struck him in the chest. As he lay there, Gharamouk walked over to him and spat in his face.
"Idiot boy, to leave your toys unattended around your little whores with their clever little fingers. Gimhaloulou was mine, you fool. All mi-"
She cut off, gasping, fingers groping in bafflement at the throwing dagger embedded in her neck. Gimhaloulou stepped out of the shadows of the pavillion, her sultry form draped in a bikini made of still-bloody scalps. "Something stuck in your throat, my Lady?" she enquired innocently.
Exactly the kind of thing I was hoping some one would come up with when I started the thread. Well done. (y)
 

Guttersnipe

mortal ally
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,564
Location
Cocagne
I was waiting at the bus stop. I was eating an apple. It was red. It also tasted sour. My friend was also eating an apple. He said it tasted sour, too. His apple was also red. We ate together for a while. When we were done, we threw the cores away.

The bus arrived. It was a yellow school bus. We got in. Our classmates were in there, too. We sat down. We stopped at other bus stops. Then we were at school. We got out. We walked into the school. We showed up at our homeroom. We were counted. Then I went to science class alone. The teacher there started talking. I learned a few things.



Honestly, I could write a book like this, but I'd have to stifle my vomit.
 
Last edited:

JunkMonkey

Lord High Vizier of Nowt
Joined
Dec 19, 2010
Messages
3,780
Location
A wet, but photogenic, bit of Scotland.
I found a real one!

With an almost silent click and a flash of its small blue light, the flat-screen TV came to life, and Jeff Eastwood was offered more bad news as he ate his breakfast. The two BBC news anchors sat on the ergonomically designed couch looking concerned as they relayed yet more details of suspected terrorist attacks, anarchic public demonstrations, and rioting. It was too early for news such as this, the clock on the screen displayed 06:47 a.m., and outside it was still dark. January in England is a long dark and for most a depressing month. After the highs of the Christmas festivities comes the reality of the New Year, and the absolute drudgery of it starting all over again like some bad joke. And for many, the credit card bills for the festive period.
He sighed as he took the first sip of his morning tea. Coffee would follow later, but it was always tea first thing. As a special adviser to the UK government on social cohesion, he knew today's news of further rioting and the increasing, seemingly random violent attacks that are being reported would mean another day of meetings and head-scratching.

Luckily the book was free in our village 'leave one, take one' community books swap shed. So I took it. I didn't technically 'buy' it. Like a lot of self-published books you find, in charity shops and the like, it looks unread. I wonder how many pages my masochistic urges will make me suffer before I feel purged enough to return it? Just how many jarring, gear-crunching changes of tense like that last paragraph's can I suffer?
 

sule

"What I do is me: for that I came."
Joined
Feb 14, 2020
Messages
427
If we're sharing real ones, I found this one at my library:

Working as a nurse in a hospital took a special kind of person. Jane Goodwin was this special type of person. She met the challenges she faced daily in her job with compassion and caring. It was hard, rewarding work that took a person from the highs of saving someone's life to the lows of watching a child die unable to save them. In those intense moments when someone's life hung in the balance was what it was all about. Meeting those challenges with skill and calmness was second nature to her. It was easy sometimes to forget they were people you were working on and not just bodies that required your services. She had made a conscious decision to never forget they were people with feelings and loved ones waiting and praying for them to recover. It showed in all she did. She was respected by both doctors and colleagues. Her patients loved her. She usually had a kind word for almost anyone.
This book is 550+ pages long. Maybe I'll just skim until Chapter 20, "Mutant Roman Zombies."
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
559
Sunlight slanted across the marble mantlepiece, illuminating the pearl-inlaid carriage clock. Sylvia had given it to George several years ago, before that terrible holiday in the Jura with the Hamptons and all that had followed. He stared at it now, as if daring it to speak, to make some comment on the tangled web that his life had become since Antonia had entered into it. His wristwatch ticked slightly out of synch with it, a cheap Sekunda, not at all the kind of thing he was accustomed to. That out-of-synchness spoke to something in his soul, a certain failure of spiritual alignment that had grown within him over the years. He stood there for a long time, unwilling to face what he would soon have to say to Bernard about Olivia. The angle of the sunbeam, outlined by dust-motes, slowly changed. Then he left the room.
 

AnRoinnUltra

Cé scéal tuthóg?
Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
984
The Zenolob of Flingtaste*

(*This book has been translated from it's original Martian, and while every attempt has been made to get the structure to match a human language, it was not possible to replace every word.)

Abslod Rungtell flengelled in a most umpesing lantil. He zorkled, bedrangled, flungt and zimbled untill that which was his was not. It borglumped the upmost cleric upon his planet.

'Speak now directively, of face a glalgterack worse than nubble, arsa Abslod', argued to Comnunticle.

'Belack', replied Abslod. He was at peak itchiness, and unknown to the Comnunticle, required several minutes alone by the corump.

'Belack!', fumed his anterior official.

The Communticle agreed, 'belack, belack, belack -render unto the dust Abslod Rungtell, the glagterack is nothing but this citizen's own conblomption.'

And in this way his journey began.
 

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
2,045
Location
The Netherlands
Arthur Fitzgerald III pulled at his right earlobe. It was a habit of his when he was undecided about something, which happened a lot. In fact, it would have been more accurate if I (your narrator) had written 'It was a constant habit of his, because he was almost always undecided about everything.' But Arthur Fitzgerald III (not his real name) objected, although a bit hesitantly, while gripping at his right earlobe. I (the narrator) am uncertain why he objected.
Anyway, what was Arthur Fitzgerald III uncertain about this time? Well, picture him standing there in his blue/white underwear (it were the stars on it that were white) and staring at two suits laid out on his unmade bed, while, as I said, pulling at his right earlobe. Which one needed to be brought to the dry cleaner's first? It promised to be a long, long day.
 

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
7,639
Lately, whenever I quest forth in search of exciting new fantasy novels, I always seem to strike poorly-written grimdark. It peeves me.

Your effort, however, was great. It was the best worst grimdark I've read for ages.

I'm not sure anyone still writes like this, but here's the opening of the acclaimed yet fictitious Uncommunications by Professor John Lupin:

It was the first day of the semester, and Professor John Luton watched with cultured despair as the mindless, vapid, worthless hordes of normal people arrived at the University of Unimportando in their crass station wagons to drop off their bouncy, eager, large-bosomed daughters.
"What station does a station wagon imply?" he quipped.
"Huh?" said his wife, who wasn't as attractive as she had been and didn't understand him anymore.
John took his pedigree poodle and his angst outside for a walk. He was fifty-five, plump, balding, full of deep wisdom and raw sexuality. As he passed the parents of the students, much as Socrates would have passed the plebs [here follows some incoherent linguistic jazz about Romans going roaming] one of the young women collided with him. It was a single collision, but yet a double collision, you might say, for it was not one impact that her impressive chest had on him but two because of her huge and yet moderate and yet well-formed and yet...


And here's a certain kind of "tough" crime novel. From Thicker Than Water by Regina Fist:

When I got to the house I knew Dave Fingers was there because he was a fat nonce and I hated him. I got out of my Toyota Elite 4X4 with matt black paint job and took out my fully-automatic Parrington 68.5mm with underloading double-action fastclip and rehashing autovibe sights which I'd somehow acquired in the East End which is where I'm from and don't you forget it.
"Alright Bob you ****ing nonceponce grass," I said. "Something family something honour something business, you toerag."
Nine hundred high powered rounds ripped through the lard-bucket's body as I unleased my inner tiger on his face. His brain fell out and I killed it with my baseball bat. "Yeah," I said. I liked it. It was good. Or something.
 
Last edited:

AnRoinnUltra

Cé scéal tuthóg?
Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
984
From Thicker Than Water by Regina Fist:
Did you make that up or is it a quote, I can't tell with this thread anymore!
It's bonkers stuff -reminds me of the film 'Fear of a Black Hat' where the angst ridden cop grabs his suspect and says 'I'm gonna take you to the muthaf*ing place where all the muthaf*ers go', then turns to camera and says, 'hang on a second, what kind of a person writes this sh*t.';)
 

JunkMonkey

Lord High Vizier of Nowt
Joined
Dec 19, 2010
Messages
3,780
Location
A wet, but photogenic, bit of Scotland.
I'm not sure anyone still writes like this, but here's the opening of the acclaimed yet fictitious Uncommunications by Professor John Lupin:

It was the first day of the semester, and Professor John Luton watched with cultured despair as the mindless, vapid, worthless hordes of normal people arrived at the University of Unimportando in their crass station wagons to drop off their bouncy, eager, large-bosomed daughters.
"What station does a station wagon imply?" he quipped.
"Huh?" said his wife, who wasn't as attractive as she had been and didn't understand him anymore.
John took his pedigree poodle and his angst outside for a walk. He was fifty-five, plump, balding, full of deep wisdom and raw sexuality. As he passed the parents of the students, much as Socrates would have passed the plebs [here follows some incoherent linguistic jazz about Romans going roaming] one of the young women collided with him. It was a single collision, but yet a double collision, you might say, for it was not one impact that her impressive chest had on him but two because of her huge and yet moderate and yet well-formed and yet...

I'm sure they do (I bet every English Lit professor in every university around the world has a couple tucked away in a drawer next to a wax model of Malcolm Bradbury with pins in it) but whether they get published any more is a different question.
 

stevejk

Active Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
33
THE HEAVY HANDED SWORDSMAN OF PORTENTOUS DOOM
It was a grey and unsettled twilight. Thick clouds rippled across a forlorn sky, threatening to unload their bladders on the unsuspecting people of Belgravionia. A mournful wind whipped through the somnolent willow trees on the banks of the great river Sorn, their leaves susurrating sleepily with its passing. There was a cloying sensation in the atmosphere. A resonance. An energy. Impending Menace. Graveyard bones jiggled in their tiny tombs in sympathy with its presence. Crows cawed strident songs of crowdom past on their perches. It was in this most portentous of mornings that HE came.

"More cock!" shouted the Traveller, tearing the last traces of flesh from a cockatrice thigh.

Bivouac Jones, lowly squire, dragged at the traveller's heels, stooping low to the ground, a grovelling man in a grovelling pose, speaking in a grovelling tone of grovel. "Yes, mighty master. I live but to serve," he said, then continued under his breath, "and to function as a self-aware meta commentary on the nature of power relationships in fantasy fiction."

"What was that, Bivouac?" interjected the Traveller of many roads, destroyer of kings, usurper of thrones, intensifier of nouns.

"Nothing, over talented one!" grovelled Bivouac, grovellingly.

"Good! Because if I catch you breaking any walls other than first and second, you'll meet my Substitute!" said Traveller holding aloft his mighty pink sword so that it glistened in the waning sun. "All who gaze upon my mighty weapon will meet an unpleasant end."

"Can't be any worse than shovelling foul meat into your mouth," whispered Bivouac. He proffered another cockatrice leg and was loud, again, "Your bird, melord."
With all do respect my good thespian, thou doth intrigue me with thou comedy!
Make a short story of this and pass it on! In truth my good friend...
 

stevejk

Active Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
33
Chapter 1. What?

"Hay! Do you see that?"
"What?" I asked looking up from my tablet.
"That! Right there in front of us!"
"What? Oh, sure. Cool." I answered still looking at my tablet.
"Do you see what it is? Put that thing down and look!"
I didn't look or answered. All that mattered to me was what was on my tablet; being worthless news, gossip and meaningless conspiracies.
"Put that thing down and look! You're missing it!"
"Whatever." I answered while rolling on my side. "Wake me when it's over."
"What!? LOOK!!!"
Why should I, I thought to myself. There is nothing in life that is better than what is on the net. The truth of life IS the worthlessness of the net itself.
Darkness, I can't move or breath. I can't even thin...
"Why didn't you look? Now what do I write and to and for whom?"
No answer.

Chapter 2. Nothing to write.
 

Similar threads


Top