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WIP first lines – part deux

There’s a meme doing the rounds (one day I’ll figure out what a meme is), prompting people to post their WIP first lines. 

A couple of weeks ago, I put up some of mine.  
Since then, I’ve kept my eyes peeled, looking for other people to do the same, but haven’t seen too many.


I've only started one more WIP this month, a 100-word drabble called Canary in a Coalmine.  Here's the first line:  
Twelve hours after the tunnel collapsed, the last oil lamp went out.


How about you guys?


What’s the first line from your current WIP?


If you’ve already posted yours, feel free to link to the relevant entry in the comments section, if you haven’t, why not take a couple minutes to post an entry with them and link here?
Who knows, your first line could inspire a completely different story for someone else.  

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( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 20th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
First lines
I’d never really been the kind of girl who had to be part of the ‘in crowd’
Jul. 20th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
Re: First lines
Good one :) What's it from?
Re: First lines - katywriter - Jul. 20th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: First lines - jongibbs - Jul. 20th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: First lines - katywriter - Jul. 22nd, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: First lines - chant_1 - Jul. 22nd, 2009 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: First lines - jongibbs - Jul. 22nd, 2009 10:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 20th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
My current active WIP begins with
"It was starting to look like home. "

Could cover a range of subjects and genres, couldn't it? ;-)
Jul. 20th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Lol :) Care to elaborate a little?
(no subject) - debikm - Jul. 20th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 20th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 20th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
I just made a whole ramble prompted by this, but...

The first line of Shadow Mountain is...
I curse as I run along the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Jul. 20th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
Nice :) What's Shadow Mountain? Novel? Short? What's the genre?
(no subject) - ladyhedgehog - Jul. 20th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
The moment the door tapped shut behind the last groveling slave, Baxente Llari, future ruler of the peirlands, drew back his fist and smashed the council table.

Don't know if this is my opening line or not. I've yet to decide which POV I'll be leading off with. This is from my fantasy WIP, Witherwilds, which has 5 lovely POVs to choose from. :P But really, the field is narrowed to two by chronology...I think.
Jul. 20th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Baxente Llari. Now that's a good fantasy name :)

Thanks for sharing :)
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
Karina lay down next to the first pile of bodies she came across, crying all the while.

yeah well... It mightn't remain as my first line for now.
Jul. 20th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
You can't go far wrong with dead bodies in the opening line :)
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
From "Ozymandias":

Most everything, steam engine and coal car, wooden trestles and men, lay at the bottom of the dry gorge.
Jul. 20th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Ozymandias. What a great title :)
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Jul. 21st, 2009 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mongrelheart - Jul. 21st, 2009 05:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
I went ahead and posted.

I like seeing them out of context. It really does make you want to sharpen them, though I also noticed how the second line sometimes creates a rhythm for the first, etc., a play off each other.
Jul. 20th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I like the urinals one :)

Thanks for sharing.
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
First lines can lead to anything
User clarionj referenced to your post from First lines can lead to anything saying: [...] In response to 's revisit of WIP first lines , here's the first lines of some of my works in progress, some new and unfinished pieces, some old being edited pieces: "As soon as Arturo stepped into the restroom, the three men at the ... [...]
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Oooh, good line. Very evocative! I don't have anything new since I did this meme myself :(
Jul. 20th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)

Why not add a link to your first line post?
(no subject) - ex_naomi_ja - Jul. 21st, 2009 09:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 21st, 2009 11:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 21st, 2009 11:17 am (UTC)
I like them both, but (for me) the 'rumble of thunder' one achieves a lot more with just those eight words :)
Jul. 21st, 2009 05:08 am (UTC)
Ooh that's a spooky first line. Nothing scarier than being trapped underground in the dark!
Jul. 21st, 2009 11:18 am (UTC)
Thanks :) What's the first line from Algae?
(no subject) - mongrelheart - Jul. 21st, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 22nd, 2009 10:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 21st, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
Here are some of my first lines.

Alternate Earth fantasy sequel WIP: A strip of copper, worked from her favorite doll’s cotton insides, served as a makeshift knife.

Sci-Fi (space opera) WIP: Rays from the saffron moons stabbed the clear water of the swimming pool where thief Kliimus Slag lay partially submerged.

YA urban fantasy: The thought flitted through Phin's mind that the number of times her body flipped before landing couldn't be humanly possible.

Interesting post. Great responses. :)
Jul. 21st, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
I love that first one! :)
Jul. 21st, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
[Urban Fantasy - current WIP] The old man in the long black cloak made his way through the moonlit streets of London. (I don't like this overly, it smacks of cliché. However, when the rewrite comes, it'll be first against the wall! I'm playing the 'avoid editing until MS is complete' game with this one, to see if I can finish it...)

[Horror short story] Some days I think I should quit. Usually when I’ve taken too much and am lying on the bed, a blood soaked towel pressed to my arm, dizzy with the pain. (Also due a rewrite, but due a structural overhaul as well, so I need to come back to this later. Probably when City of Shadows is done for the first draft, and I want a break and something else to play with.)

[Urban Fantasy short story] The funeral of Arthur Detton took place on a damp Tuesday in the middle of March. (I want to finish this one, too. Another short story, but I need to plot it properly first. Maybe a challenge for the writing holiday, this.)

[Completely unknown. Maybe YA, maybe not. Historical Fantasy] Finkle and Worth estate agents occupied a compact premises on the corner of Able Street and Lofthouse Road. (This will probably be the next novel-length one that I write. Currently mulling over plot ideas and characters, and working things out.)
Jul. 21st, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
I kind of like that first one, though I know what you mean about the cliché thing. I wonder if it just needs a little tweak :)
(no subject) - black_faery - Jul. 21st, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 21st, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - black_faery - Jul. 21st, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 21st, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
So...I had resisted the lure of the meme, but for you, Jon - I posted some of mine.

I like your idea of using the first lines as prompts (and some of these may be making the rounds of my writing group...).
Jul. 22nd, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
I like that first one, but my fave is the one from Kingdom Come.

Thanks for sharing :)

As for prompts. Even if it was for 100-word drabbles, I bet we'd all veer off in different directions, despite using the same first line.
Jul. 22nd, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
'Are you the numbers girl?'

(It's from a short story that links into 'Guardians of Paradise', my latest novel, and it turns out to be a surprisingly effective chat-up line.)
Jul. 22nd, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd know that one thirty years ago. It beats the heck out of my chat up line; 'Er... hi...er... er... hi' :(
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