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I'm having loads of fun writing Barnum's Revenge (the sequel to Fur-Face). Here's the (current ) opening paragraph: 

     Inside one of the metal garbage cans behind the Laughing Milkmaid pub, Snowy gripped the handle of the upturned lid above his head with both front paws.
    If he gets in here, I’m dog food.
    Dense blackness closed in around him.
Terrified of confined spaces, he tried to picture himself stretched out on the shed roof in the Eustons’ back yard, but he couldn’t concentrate. The smell of roast chicken, so enticing just a short time ago, now stuck in his throat. His spine ached from the effort of balancing on hind legs on top of the black plastic rubbish sacks filled with that night’s leftovers from the pub’s kitchen. He longed to drop back down on all fours, but to let go of the handle meant certain death.

How about you?

Care to share the opening lines from your current WiP?


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snapes_angel
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
What's the limit? 2 paragraphs? >=}
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:24 am (UTC)
Whatever you like :)
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ex_naomi_ja
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:17 am (UTC)
Heck, why not! This is from Night Breed, the third Urban Wolf book:

It was seven-thirty on Friday night and I had a date with my girlfriend. Unluckily for me, she had a date with a mob of parents and school teachers, and I’d been banished to the bedroom to give Shannon and her prospective gang of clients some privacy. Not that “privacy” really meant much when you had werewolf hearing, but the mob hadn’t clicked onto that. So I had the bedroom door open just a crack, enough to let me hear most of what was going on in the living room. I probably should have felt bad about eavesdropping, but I’d been looking forward to our date all week and I was feeling just sulky enough to want some very petty revenge.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
Not that “privacy” really meant much when you had werewolf hearing.

Good one :)
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Aug. 20th, 2011 11:41 am (UTC) - Expand
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seekerval
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:20 am (UTC)
Here's the opening for my urban fantasy, working title "New Curiosity Shoppe":


Erg after erg of power flowed from worn hands, engulfing the fluctuating energies that threatened worlds. The ancient man swayed, leaning against shelves filled with books, bric-a-brac, and toys. Strong young hands clasped the old one's waist.

"Take what is needed, Master Guardian. This one also offers her small power."

Steadied, the ancient man Pushed. He gestured, weaving unseen nets and knots in the air. Brick walls flowed, giving of their solidity. Air wavered, contributing flexibility. Oak floor boards creaked, offering strength of the Earth. When the young hands fell from his waist, the man also collapsed, bringing leather-bound journals, figurines, and stuffed animals to the floor with him. He patted at the items, pulling a book and a stuffed pony to his chest.

His whisper reached crystal-laden ears. "Thought I'd have more time--I never trained her. I've failed her. She'll need your help, 'Vette." He rallied, lifting his head and raising his voice in raspy command. "All of you must help her learn."

The floor boards lifted to ease him down. A pale, spotted hand patted his where it clutched the pony and an elegant, ivory-skinned hand rested above his heart. Long nails painted turquoise stroked his hair while a slim olive hand held his ankle. Sparkling blue psuedo-pods encircled a calf. One tanned and powerful hand gripped the old man's shoulder with unaccustomed gentleness. Two bark brown hands, one delicate and trembling with fatigue, the other sinewy and large, clasped his other calf. Small hands, chocolate hooves, and a wing's edge touched and held. Each contact was a vow, and a farewell.

The Guardian stilled.

One floor and three doors away tempered-steel flesh stirred.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Interesting. I love that title, by the way :)
(no subject) - seekerval - Aug. 20th, 2011 11:46 am (UTC) - Expand
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black_faery
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Nice idea! And nice start to Barnum's Revenge, too :-)

Opening paragraph of my current WIP, Winter Of Ash:

Faint morning sunlight had begun to burn through the misty clouds left by night when Torben Thorskil passed the pine-crested ridge that marked the eastern boundary of his family’s land and stopped. The sudden lurch in his stomach betrayed his true feelings on coming home and he wished he could be certain of the welcome he would receive. The line of trees swept down in a curve on the rocky outcrop to where the river flowed rough and furious over vast boulders. At the dying of the year, the waters swelled with rain on the mountains, creating a roaring brown torrent that churned to white as it tumbled through the rocks. Even from here, looking down, the sound of rushing water came to Torben as he checked his horse and looked out across the frozen land. Hard snow crunched beneath Greta’s hooves and the black mare whinnied, seeming to recognise where she was once more. Her breath came in a cloud of steam that hung, unmoving, in the chill air.

“That’s right, lillan,” Torben said, leaning forward to pat her neck through the rough grey woollen coat that she wore. “Home again.”
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
Winter of Ash... Now, why does that title sound familiar? ;)
(no subject) - black_faery - Aug. 20th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC) - Expand
msstacy13
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
Since you ask; from _Brothers, Keepers, Losers, Weepers_
A homicide investigator sees some truly ugly things, and that’s an understatement. The two eye-witnesses willing to talk, an elderly white woman who had been eating a soft chicken taco and the black man who managed the fast-food franchise, agreed that the decedent, Ashlee Matthews, had spent the last few minutes of her life convulsing. This was confirmed by the three-minute cell phone video a bystander, who claimed not to have seen what happened, had taken. I watched that after getting their statements, and noticed that the two of them were the only people among the dozens present who made any attempt to intervene.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)
Re: Since you ask; from _Brothers, Keepers, Losers, Weepers_
I like that opening line :)
darke_conteur
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:37 am (UTC)
First bit to THE WATCHTOWER.

Necessity may be a good means of motivation, but for Martin Cunningham, starvation was a damn good means of motivation too.

Martin stared out the window of the number six bus as it drove down Clergy Street toward the downtown core. The smell of grease floated over to him from across the aisle, as an attractive, middle aged woman sat nibbling on a box of ketchup-coated French-fries. His stomach growled. Broke, hungry, and out of work. He had to find a job soon or he could add homeless to the list. As much as he loved his parents, he didn’t like the idea of moving back home, and the idea of having another room-mate left a bad taste in his mouth.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
Another great opening line :)
(no subject) - seekerval - Aug. 21st, 2011 09:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - darke_conteur - Aug. 21st, 2011 09:56 am (UTC) - Expand
j_cheney
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:56 am (UTC)
The Devil in the Details
His father's letter was short, vague, and ill-timed. But Cody suspected his father knew all of those things. Father was a master manipulator.

On the 15th, the letter said, I need you to go down to Stone Point Station and pick up a student who is coming up to observe our family for a year.

Cody shifted in the saddle, annoyed. The trail down from the Mountainhold was steep, but the horses were bred to this sort of terrain. His mount's shaggy winter coat was shedding hair all over his buff moleskin trousers, though, and he was going to reek of horse by the time he reached the hotel next to Stone Point Station that afternoon.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
Re: The Devil in the Details
Excellent. I like Cody's dad already :)
Re: The Devil in the Details - seekerval - Aug. 21st, 2011 09:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: The Devil in the Details - j_cheney - Aug. 21st, 2011 09:59 am (UTC) - Expand
slweippert
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
Here's mine:

“It was a dark and stormy night.” June muttered to herself behind the wheel. Rain fell in torrents, relieved only by a random painful flash of lightning with an earthshaking crash on its heels.
She leaned forward over the steering wheel, eyes squinted. The headlights of the old converted 2010 Taurus struggled to chase enough of the night away for her to see the fog line. Up each hill, June cursed her cheap-ass gas to electric conversion job; so poorly done the headlights dimmed going up the gentlest incline.
The storm was just the latest thing to go wrong in June’s life. Graduating college with a bachelor’s in Veterinarian Science Technology and crushing student loan debt, she hustled to find a job. With an entry level vet assistant job found, she relaxed into a budget that kept her fed and her creditors mollified, and then the lecherous veterinarian she worked for made his move. Screaming her refusal in the exam room while clients held their precious fur balls in the waiting room meant June was summarily fired by the office manager the next day.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
Great opening line :)
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jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:59 pm (UTC)
Sounds like someone's in for a tough time. I like it :)
lyonesse
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
i'm currently revising, so these may or may not end up being the opening words, but here's what i'm currently thinking:



Titration, incantation, semiotics, and solder: the defining paradigms of a modern preternatural engineer's life. Back when it was "ceremony" instead of "engineering", maybe it had been different -- censers and candles and chanting, instead of compilers, chemicals, and code. This might be said to represent progress; John sometimes wondered if it wasn't an attempt to increase perceived legitimacy by deprecating aesthetics. But one thing, at least, would never change: the most productive and innovative work gets done by graduate students between the hours of midnight and dawn.

Edited at 2011-08-20 04:17 pm (UTC)
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
Sounds like those grad students are up to no good :)
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pfrsue
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
This is from a nearly completed WIP I have, tentatively titled, TIMELESS:


His breath was stale. She would never forget that.

The knife shouldn't have been a surprise. He was farm raised, no different than she. Knives came in handy. Even she carried one while doing chores. She'd never entertained the possibility of a knife as a threat. Not in her experience. Not until now.

And he was laughing softly, for her ears only as the sweat trickled down her spine, and a tree root dug into her thigh and the sour taste of fear closed her throat.

She did not know what to do.

She would never forget that either.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Creepy, but in a good way. Nice one :)
(no subject) - roninangel - Aug. 20th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pfrsue - Aug. 21st, 2011 07:11 am (UTC) - Expand
david_bridger
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
Nice idea, Jon. Here's the opening to Quarter Square's sequel Golden Triangle.

I gunned my bike ahead of Shad's, and the snarl from my exhaust smacked back at me off the stone walls that edged the empty Pennine road.

Shad growled alongside effortlessly. His heavy cruiser didn't have scary acceleration like mine, but it was better for a long haul and definitely better suited to his giant frame. In his open-face helmet and flying goggles, he looked like he was born on a bike. He bared his teeth at me in a fierce challenge as he pulled ahead.

We tore up the long hill and crested it side-by-side.

Sheep-grazed fields rolled away across the moor, and below us Rivington glowed in the sunset. We took a right at the next crossroads and lost sight of the little town.

Our first day in the new job had been a long one. Ten back-breaking hours shifting a massive mound of earth and rubble in a scrap metal merchant's yard. I ached, but it was a good ache and we'd made a good dent in the mound. Plus, the money was okay. As good as could be expected for two strangers looking for casual work with no questions asked.

And the commute was going to be a joy.
jongibbs
Aug. 20th, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC)
Good one :)
roninangel
Aug. 20th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
now that i reread my opening, there's lots of TELLING going on - and as much as i've tried to avoid it, i'm going to HAVE to make my catalyst person more three-dimensional - i was hoping to just keep him flat as he's more a plot device than anything - he's just an excuse for the story, if you will


Frederick asked me to join his vampire coven last night. The whole time I’d known him, he talked about how one day his coven would wipe out the local werewolf pack and then go on to eliminate the entire species. I had always thought he was playing some sort of game that he couldn’t quite let go of. So when he asked me to join his coven, I thought he was certainly joking or that he was talking about this game of his. The shock of his seriousness cut my giggles short. He had every intention of turning me then and there, but I weaseled my way into some time. It was a tense negotiation, he seemed willing to give me a night without too much trouble, but as I had no intention of becoming a vampire, I needed more time than that. I had to figure some way out. I argued him into giving me a week. It was by far the most terrifying thing I’d done -- scarier than cliff diving, that’s for sure; I was almost certain he was going to kill me right there for the trouble. He had certainly always played the part of a vampire, staying indoors and only going outside in the dusk to nighttime hours, I just never thought he'd actually ask me to join him. If I were to choose one of those “immortal creatures of the night” of his, I would never choose to be a vampire, they always seem manipulative and coldly calculating; I’m more inclined to pack mentality anyway. Since he had apparently been serious the whole time about being a vampire, it didn’t seem too much of a stretch for me to assume that the werewolves were real too. So I decided to spend my week tracking them down.

The way I figured it, there was no going back to my old life. With just one question in one moment, Frederick had taken what I had known as my life away from me. I was sure that turning him down would mean the end of my life in a very permanent way. In his future, I’d never see daylight again, and I’d constantly have to watch my back in the night for, well, anything. I couldn't imagine why he'd choose me anyway. Other than me having become a loner – by no choice of my own, might I add – I was not particularly strong or agile. I knew a lot about a lot of different things, but that's not exactly vampire material. If I could find Frederick’s werewolf rivals, they'd be the best chance I'd have at something perhaps resembling normality. At least I could still feel the sun on my face without turning to ash and dust.
roninangel
Aug. 20th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
(ya - this needs a LOT of revision - make fred scarier, make the threat more real, yadda yadda =P)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 20th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
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darkspires
Aug. 20th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
This is the opening of my new urban fantasy, 'Widdershins'. Waiting to join in the action is a very civilized werewolf, who doesn't like sharing his new found acquisition.

***

Morgan’s eyes ached from driving through the endless whiteness of a blizzard. Despite the cold, raising the heat and the drowsiness wasn’t a great idea on this dirt track of a back road where just keeping tracking going was an issue. She had to be alert to have any chance at sneaking over the border into Canada.

The text message on her Blackberry played out in her mind endlessly. ‘Contact me. I’ll get you into another safe house. This won’t happen again.’

Dead right, it wouldn’t. She wasn’t going back. If she hadn’t needed a bathroom break when her bodyguards checked into the hotel, she would have been in the lobby when the grenade exploded. If she hadn’t forgotten her purse, she wouldn’t have had the car keys. Someone knew the safe location and didn’t care how many innocent people died.
jongibbs
Aug. 21st, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
Good one, Elizabeth :)
suelder
Aug. 20th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
First Line
This is the first bit from Lawgiver:


The first time that I met the Lawgiver, I was fifteen and a slave.

“You’ve been sold,” growled the guard who came for me. He filled the door to my cell and dragged me out before breakfast had been shoved into the dim dirt room. I blinked in the bright morning sun as we passed the other boys, lining up to go out into the fields – Pellen, Mar and Lesten. They were slaves, too, but we didn't talk much. We weren't allowed to.
rymrytr
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
Re: First Line


Intriguing... I would read on!


Re: First Line - jongibbs - Aug. 21st, 2011 06:14 am (UTC) - Expand
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