You have been waiting for years and years for this. Ok, two and a half days. And now it has arrived.
As stated in Friday’s post, the Stupendously Ultimate First Line Challenge’s rules will be ill-defined and the winners subjectively chosen, so let’s all just take a deep breath and agree that we will not get angry at the stupendously ultimate contest organizational committee (which has one member) and will enjoy this contest for the good hearty fun that it is — in fact, I’ve just been assured by the surgeon general that participation in this contest counts as three servings of vegetables.
The rules — er, on second thought let’s call them guidelines:
1) All may participate, whether agented or unagented, published or unpublished, living or unliving.
2) Leave in the comments section one (1) first line to a novel, memoir, work of nonfiction or other such matter intended to be the opening of a book — it may be your work in progress or something you have crafted for the purposes of the Stupendously Ultimate First Line Challenge. A second line may be included if it completes the first line, however aforementioned second line’s necessity will be judged with great scrutiny since this is a first line contest (and a stupendously ultimate one at that).
3) Entries may be made between now and sometime late Wednesday night Pacific time. In Thursday’s post I will put together a list of nominees for the grand prize and you the readers will have an opportunity to vote on the ultimate winner, which will be announced on Monday. (That is, if I can figure out how to enable voting.)
That’s it! New rules will be introduced haphazardly, so keep an eye on the comments section.
And now the prizes. The prizes!! The grand prize winner will receive the satisfaction of a job well done, the esteem of his/her fellow blog readers, and…… a partial manuscript critique from the stupendously ultimate contest organizational committee of one! (Or some other equally stupendously ultimate non-cash prize if the winner doesn’t need a manuscript critique.)
It was a dark and stormy night. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Who will add their first line to the ranks of the greatest opening lines in literature? Let’s find out.
Grown man that he now is, Rodney’s primary locus remains firmly fixed in the mundane, notwithstanding the fact, at age nine, a dozen leprechauns abducted him while he bicycled to widow Platt’s house for his weekly cello lesson, although what actually went on there between him and widow Platt was much more than musical and the authorities were long suspicious of it, even though they could charge the widow with nothing since Rodney refused to talk about those sessions being the high IQ genius he was, having comprehensively analyzed all the future ramifications of implicating his beloved cello teacher and then deciding against it, instead becoming determined to save her the humiliation of going to the slammer for showing him all those elastic gymnastic contortions, because, as an orphan, and an unwilling ward of the Leprechaun Underground, he was projecting all his neediness onto her, anyway, to the point he truly believed he loved her, when it was obvious to even the most brilliant mental health professional who studied his case in latter years, including me, that his belief was little more than sick delusion, with widow Platt, the leprechauns and whomever else having selfishly preyed upon his naivete, the poor bastard.
From: Murder Can Be Fun
Veronica Hayden woke up with a smile on her face, and a loaded gun under her pillow.
Nadine opened the book and read the first sentence aloud, “To the man or woman reading this I must caution you, the following sentence will change your life in a profound way.”
I should have known. I should have known the minute I went to get my favorite black tee and found it not in the drawer, but curled up in a crusty ball in the back of my closet, caked with two-week-old nuked syrup that had shot out of the bottle, bounced off my waffle, and splattered me like sweet Vermont paintball.
Joseph Conrad says
Joe exited the Jetway and thumbed the wedding band around his finger as his eyes bounced among the waiting faces.
Nathan Bransford says
Thank you for everyone who entered! Finalists will be announced in the morning.
In a world gone digital new kicks are hard to find, so the human race decided it’s easier to download their personalities into new bodies and do away with flesh and blood that broke and deformed so quickly.
A Paperback Writer says
Holy William Faulkner, Phoenix! That’s one heck of a long first line! Wow.
I knew my prom date was going to be President one day.
Every single hand written version of my grandfathers memoirs started with one phrase: My wife is illiterate.
The storm danced around the distant hilltops flashing yellow lightning and purring thunder.
Hey, Paperback Writer: Glad you noted it is just one sentence :o)
A fairly technically correct sentence, too. No blatant comma splices. Not a run on. I was careful to see that it met Nathan’s very strict (ha!) guidelines.
I really wrote it to poke a bit of fun here. People were getting so serious and were so concerned about following the rules and making sure we knew what genre they were writing in case we missed it in their 5-10 words. That’s why mine’s a completely inane mix of stereotypes and genres that hang together only out of sheer perseverance. Tongue was planted firmly in cheek, I promise.
Best of luck to those being shortlisted tonight! It’s been a fun read!
Charles Gramlich says
“She had the lips that Satan dreamed of in his long fall to Hell.” (from “Thief of Eyes”)
“I took my first drink two years ago. My name is Sarah Gordon, I’m sixteen and I’m an alcoholic.”
Bob the Builder died because he lived in the wrong house.
Olgy Gary says
“Through my car’s window I see the giant billboard showing a military boot squashing a worm with my face on it. I am afraid of los barbudos, the bearded ones.”
From my middle grade novel “Island of my heart”
When I was yet too young to have a name my mother wrapped me in a smouldering apron and cast me out through the window of our seventh floor flat. I fell through a long blue sky and hit the grassed embankment beside the coffee shop umbrellas and bounced unharmed to a rest by play park railings.
Or so I am led to believe.