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PhiNotPi's avatar

Do I challenge you to write an opening to a novel?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12264 points ) November 26th, 2011

Yes, I do challenge you.

Write a paragraph that sounds like it is the opening paragraph to a novel. I should make me want to keep reading the rest of the novel (even though it doesn’t exist). Feel free to write the rest of the novel if you want.

Rules:
Most elaborate/interesting/epic/eye-catching introduction wins.
No cheating.

Example:
The ocean is a mighty tyrant. Insubordinate to the power of man, it alone touches everything. Sometimes it does certain things, just to prove it could. And when one tries to push his will upon the sea, it pushes back, much harder. Here, I speak the ineffable, the language of the sea.

(I do have a plot for the rest of the novel, but it is really deep and depressing)

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16 Answers

rebbel's avatar

Tuesday evenings were for practising. She knew that. Still, it was weird that his guitar was in its stand. Even stranger was the fact that Samuel wasn’t home yet, an hour and a half after his usual entering the house. Why hadn’t he just call her, like he had always when he decided to drink a few with two of the band members. The forth member, Bert, never joined them afterwards.
The doorbell rang.

TexasDude's avatar

The blistering rays of the July sun clawed at the back of my neck as I feverishly hacked away at this week’s Jack-O-lantern. Stopping to take a sip of my Yoo-Hoo, I leaned back to admire my handiwork. Two triangles stared back at me above a jagged mouth that glistened with oozing pumpkin juice in the sun. I heard the screen door of my house open behind me.

flutherother's avatar

Resting his elbows on the pier’s wooden parapet James trained his binoculars along the edge of the sea following the line of surf until he saw what he was looking for. A dark shape rolled over in the waves and then fell back towards the sea. The beach was deserted and the dark was coming down, it would not be found tonight. It would be discovered in the early morning by a jogger or perhaps by a small dog being taken for a walk. James could imagine its frenzied barking as the puzzled owner approached what they thought or hoped might be a dead seal washed up on the shore. The police would be called and the hunt would be on. James smiled to himself as a thin rain began to blow in from the sea. He put up his collar and began to walk towards the line of lights that marked the edge of town.

TheIntern55's avatar

Even though the sun was nearly gone, Jeremy was still running. He had been running when it had awoken from its slumber that morning and planned to keep running until the moon could also share in his tiring ways. Where he was going, he wasn’t sure, but he knew that he had to get out of the town, away from the people and things and ideas that had kept him jailed there so long. Freedom. Sweet freedom.

yankeetooter's avatar

Hope…hanging by a thread
the last thread now severed completely.
nothing to be done now…
no healing possible.

… An endless rift separates them,
Where they shared a connection before…
a bridge that spanned two different worlds
for a short time.

Maybe the connection was not all
she saw in it…
but there was something…
a mutual respect?
shared laughter?

Now the bridge has collapsed…
And there is no building it again.
the rift…once surmountable
spans for light years between them.

Does he even care?
Who knows…
On her side the light that
burned so brightly is barely flickering…
one little breeze will put it out.

Other bridges reach her shore…
but she ignores them.
it was his bridge she wanted to cross,
his soul she wanted to touch…

And she wonders…
wonders if she will ever want
to span another bridge
in her lifetime…

TheIntern55's avatar

p.s, what do you win? Candy? Sticker? Truck? Pride?

PhiNotPi's avatar

@TheIntern55 You win a whole bunch of pride, 5 units of lurve, the challenge, maybe more.
EDIT: The winner also gets the official title of Novel Opener Writer.

downtide's avatar

Delta Cygni IV is one of the worst places in the universe to wake up with a hangover. For one thing, the air is so dry and stale it feels like every breath is trying to dessicate your lungs. The heat doesn’t help either. They say dry heat is better but believe me, when you’ve imbibed enough alcohol to knock out a Cephan ox, the dryness don’t matter a damn, the heat is gonna kill ya anyway. For another thing, it’s the vilest, sleaziest den of sex, crime and gambling this side of the Rannan border.

Just my kind of place. Except I’d probably enjoy it better without the hangover.

wundayatta's avatar

Raven couldn’t figure out when the joke had turned around and bitten him, exactly. He fully expected everyone to get the joke. It was a completely absurd idea, just like most of his stories. People should be able to recognize that by now, he thought. But they didn’t. They believed him. They seemed to think he was capable of far more than he thought himself capable of. But where? Where in this process of pretending he had actually made a movie did he start to feel he actually needed to make the movie people thought he had already made?

EmptyNest's avatar

She’d never done anything like this before. Her mind spinning as she lay in the leaves, surrounded by trees, looking up at the red, orange and yellow foliage clinging to the nearly bare branches. The view disappeared by his head over hers. His body was smothering her. No. No! Hadn’t she said that out loud? Maybe if she laid there quietly and didn’t fight, he would spare her life. From the corner of her eye, she saw he was wearing a ski mask. Keeping her head to the side, he finished, got up and ran off down the dirt road. She sat up, pulling her torn clothes around her, clutching them to her body and rocking back and forth.

Symbeline's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Don’t know what the hell that book would be about, but I’d read that.

I was sitting there, staring out my dirty window. It was sunny, enough to make me close my eyes or shield them, if I moved my vision to a spot that the Sun decided to favor. However it was really cold. At least I was cold, even though the heat outside seemed to be scorching. The window is really dirty, but I can still see through it. Down a little street, with grass and some cars lazily going by, and some just parked there, having a little afternoon nap. I’ve been living here quite a while, so it’s nothing exceptional to me. Probably isn’t to anybody though, because it’s a standard piece of scenery, for anyone who lives in common Western civilization.
Thing is, that hasn’t always been my case. I didn’t always live here. I got used to it, even though at first, I imagined that I never would. There were so many things I had to learn, which just didn’t make any sense to me. I see the sense now yes, but it doesn’t feel right.
There’s a few flies engaging battle with the filthy window. They want to get out of here. Maybe they’re cold, too. They want the heat. As the Sun splashes its mighty rays all over my small town and my dirty window, they also reflect on the fat greasy flies in front of me, which seem lost in something that should have been an epic air show. It reflects emerald green on their bodies, small and flickering, but mighty flashes of green dancing in front of my eyes. Flickering like the bright sunny sky, through the mighty green leaves of towering trees that I used to see in the Amazon Forest, where I was born.

TexasDude's avatar

@Symbeline, it’s actually the first few lines of a book I’ve been working on for a while. It’s about a civil war that erupts in a town that is obsessed with halloween. You’d probably enjoy it!

Symbeline's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Wow…that sounds like a really cool idea, and story. Seriously, you’re working on such a story? I guessed there was a Halloween obsession thing going on when I read about the July pumpkin carving. But I didn’t think for a second it was from a real project.

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard is ; Lord Skellington. That’s all. :)

downtide's avatar

@wundayatta that sounds like it would make a great, funny movie in itself.

wundayatta's avatar

@downtide Ok, you write the first few lines of the script to show me. I do not see a movie in there at all! It seems so internal to me. I suppose you it would depend on where you see it going. What you see must be quite different from what I see. Actually, I don’t know what I see. I didn’t think beyond a first paragraph. I never think beyond the first paragraph.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I would tell you how it begins, but that’s not very interesting. Instead, we’ll have to start in the middle. But that’s life, isn’t it? You weren’t born at the beginning of the story, and neither was I. So there I was in the middle. Literally. John on my left and Sammy on my right. Of course, I didn’t know that then. All I knew was that one kept polishing his hand gun while the other had fallen asleep on my shoulder seventeen minutes and forty-three seconds into an eight hour bus trip. And there I was, broken Game Boy in hand, waiting on a bathroom break that seemed destined never to come.

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