Sandbox Challenge #10: Write the First Line of Your Masterpiece

I love writing first sentences. Coming up with something intriguing that will keep a reader reading. I occasionally spend time writing a bunch of them just for fun. Sometimes I’ll go back later and use one to create a longer piece.

Today’s challenge: Write the first sentence of a story, novel, essay or memoir. Write something you think would entice readers to continue reading. Write several if you’d like.

Extra credit: Write the last sentence of a story, novel, essay or memoir. Or write several.

Extra extra credit: Write a pair (or pairs) of first and last lines that could be used for the same piece.

Here are a few of mine:

First Sentences:

One day the Head Engineer changed his mind about the whole gravity thing. (from a published flash fiction story of mine)

My clothes are trying to kill me.

Claude had been reluctantly stealing women’s hearts since he’d turned 16, and now he owned a big collection of them, shoved into the coat closet in his front hall.

If strangers could see the colors of our souls, they wouldn’t look at us as if they’d just found two pieces from separate jigsaw puzzles.

Last Sentences:

He’d always loved a good show. (from the same published story)

Anger rises in me as I think of the ruined sneakers. I’d kept them white for so long.

She lay next to him all night with her eyes on the ceiling, watching a spider making its long trek across the white expanse.

And perhaps, just possibly, the coconut monkey has lost its spiky hair and can no longer puncture the tender fingers of the family’s children with its angry splinters.

If you like, post your sentences in the Tiny Packages section of the Reader’s Sandbox. (Have I mentioned that when you wonderful readers share your creative pieces here it puts a smile on my face? Sometimes I even do a happy dance in front of my computer!)

For more inspiration, check out these links from American Book Review:

100 Best First Lines From Novels

100 Best Last Lines From Novels

And, as always, be sure to have fun while doing this exercise. Play with your words and see where they take you…


9 Responses to “Sandbox Challenge #10: Write the First Line of Your Masterpiece”

  1. 1 Laura Hegfield January 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I love your first sentences! really fun exercise Sandy!

  2. 3 Salted WithShadows January 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve always wanted to use this one:

    “The first time she saw him, he was peeing behind a van.”

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