Saturday, March 3, 2012

Inspiration: Story starters

The website Creative Writing Now ran a contest in August last year, asking for "irresistible story openers". The contest ran on Twitter with the hashtag #storyhooks. Some of the entries are so intriguing that I want to write the story to find out what happened! Maybe it'll be the same for you:

From @maryannestahl:
  • It looked dead, but I began to back away just in case. [This was the winning entry!]

  • Light rushed across the floor of the barn as I opened the doors, ready at last to face the truth.

  • Clive had made a lot of promises in his short life, but the one he made the most was the one he could never keep.

From @drzolla:
  • She bit with astounding force. Lost, she barely heard her master. Stop! Not him you fool! Her eyes opened in terror.

  • She gripped the small gun hidden in her wedding dress.The truth could not come out before she was legally married.

From @UWishUWereMe666:
  • My first time. That I remember? There isn't one. My real first time? Around eight, when mom started going out.

  • The food makes me tell Her everything. She sits and watches me, asks questions, I can't speak. I wish for death.

  • Love. All I wanted. A kind word or compassion. But now I've made up my mind. They'll see what it's like to be cold.

  • The red runs down the drain.I wonder how long it will last, to go back to normal. Why did I die my hair scarlet?

  • The screams filled my ears. The beauty was magical. The sight entrancing. How I love the smell of blood in the morn.

  • She cupped a fragile bud. One twist and it would be torn from all life. Just like humans, Death seldom makes sense

  • He smells, paint thinner, human filth. "Your money!" Look him in the eyes, bring my hand, tap the nozzle. "Do it."

  • "Perhaps I should have run," I say with a feral smile. "But he was so delicious, John. And he suffered beautifully."

  • She smiles at me. "I have no intention to punish you or break you." My hands spasm. "I plan to remake you entirely."

From @staceyface80:
  • Incredibly, it was a gypsy standing on the side of the road that finally broke up their marriage.

  • The strangest thing she had ever found while cleaning hotel rooms had been a baby. It was a story she loved to tell.

  • She had read that the creation of a thousand origami cranes granted the creator one wish. It was time for her to wish

  • Joni knew the circus had come back to town when she arrived home and all of her sister's creamic birds were shattered

  • That summer she found her mom smoking weed, and the Miracle Worker came to town to lay his hands on the lucky few

From @catpriestess:
  • This is it-the the end of it all, she thought.Of course, it wasn’t entirely true-The Nameless would always be around.

  • She knew he was dead. She wanted so much to just let go and go with him. But she knew she couldn’t, not just yet.

  • The psychic shockwave of intense pain hit her like a freight train. She knew SOMETHING was wrong, but not the cause.

  • Heretic. Murderer. Every day, Izra heard them whispering it as she passed.

  • It was the last thing she ever said to me. And it will haunt me 'til the day I die.

  • Everyone had worried about nuclear war-but it was conventional weapons that did us in.

From @MarliciaF:
  • Treat everyone with respect, or one day you may wake to find you are what you despised. I know; it happened to me.

  • Pale morning light burned her soul like a laser but left her body whole, her memory clear; that was the final irony.

  • The box on the table was an ordinary box, wrapped in common brown paper and addressed to me; it filled me with fear.

  • The pocket watch tick-tocked in time with the church steeple clock; unfortunately neither one told the correct time.

  • Lightning zig-zagged across the sky, wind filled the sails and lifted the boat to the sea beyond the ominous clouds.

  • Adele turned the brittle pages; in time all knowledge would amount to nothing; soon, only the present would matter.

  • It’s a dream game variation; you go in first and set the scene; I’ll follow and sow the ideas that will set us free.

  • You think you know someone; that you understand them, then they go and do something unexpected, and ruin everything.

  • Ansel shut his eyes and plugged his ears; all the colors, shapes and NOISE, disappeared; now maybe he could think.

  • Acrobatic white flakes tumbled in the air and coated the ground like snow; except it wasn’t cold and it didn’t melt.

  • Heavy security protected the glittering jewel, alarms, guards, dogs, cameras…not a problem; I had it all figured out.

  • The car bucked and coughed along the remote desert road, spewing steam from the engine before shuddering to a stop.

  • She stood at the window snapping green beans and wondered what it would be like to snap his head from his shoulders.

  • Some people might see the cup as half-empty, others might see it as half-full; I see it as a means to an end.

  • Learning to dance is simple; just hold your partner, but not too tight, listen to the music, and follow his steps.

  • “It’s not difficult to set an effective trap; all you need is the right bait.” Abby grinned. “We have that.”

  • The stairs wound around a central post, just like in her dream; and the winking lights danced upon them, beckoning.

  • If Scot hadn’t opened the letter, made the call or followed those directions he wouldn’t be here; wherever here was.

  • In Maggie’s eyes, Mark could do no wrong. He pulled the switch and hoped she’d understand.

  • Don’t make things so complicated; simple is better and truth is stranger than fiction.

  • Alex measured the passage of time by the water dripping from the ceiling; it wouldn’t be long now.

  • He sauntered through the doorway, a self-satisfied grin on his face. “Remember our little problem? It’s been solved.”

  • “You’re not one of us, are you?”

  • The green man tipped his hat to the lady in white; or did he tip the lady in white to his hat? I’m all befuddled.

  • Like it or not, the day was hot, the snow cold and ominous clouds billowed in the sky; perfect—just perfect.

  • Everything about the offer screamed ‘too good to be true”, but Ian couldn’t resist.

  • Jess knew how to fly without wings, how to crash and burn, and how to rise from the ashes…like the phoenix.

  • It was the day of reckoning, of resurrection, and of death.

  • Life came easy for Erik. If he wanted something he usually got it. For nothing. This time he didn’t. Or did he?

  • It all began with a cracked ceramic cup.

  • His veil of lies distorted everything, like smoke on the water; like a funhouse mirror; or a game of telephone.

  • It all started when I noticed his ears. [This one made me laugh!]

From @DDms428:
  • How does a person go on living after the death of her first born and a husband who is having an affair?

  • Inside each being dwells an iniquitous entity, hungering to emerge, and woefully mine has.

  • Officer and Mrs. Guy Towers had the ideal life until they adopted twin toddlers, daughters of the evil psychopath, J.

  • Rebecca looked tired and desperate as she leaned over the small yet pregnant frame of the young girl.

  • Believe me when I tell you, he was no normal preacher…

  • This is a long journey that I’m dying to share.

  • Last night I went to bed dreaming of my sweet Edward and this morning I woke up to find his lifeless body lying by my side.

  • Upon entering and with only the moon glowing, the park looked deserted and empty, but boy was I wrong.<./li>
  • I know I sound a little bitter, but wouldn’t you if your mother slept with your boyfriend?

  • Struggling to keep the waves from sucking me under I could see him on the boat’s deck, smirking at me.

From @retirementstory:
  • I've waited forty two years to tell you this story.

From @GreatAbakening:
  • We laid under the stars until I saw that scar of hers in the moonlight. She was only nine. My daughter's seen enough.

  • He was looking in his grandfather's attic and found a wicker mask, caked in dust and strewn with spider's webbing.

  • Amidst petty conversation, she turned to me and asked what time it was. That's when I found that I'd lost my phone.

  • Victor Lansing was a specialist at bringing antiques to life with patient restoration and a haunting secret.

  • Having left them all behind me, it was harder for me to accept the accident on my own.

From @KyleeAnnHintz:
  • Dark sounds filling the empty space in my head, agony struck through my temples like an electric lightning bolt.

  • The fear of them finding out, she couldn't take it. Angelina packed her bags and found herself soon staring at Death.

  • The call comes in. People fighting. Officers form a barrier to prevent suspects from escaping the bar on 4th Street.

From @RuthEkblom:
  • Don cowered under the hedge, trembling, ribs heaving as he fought to control his breathing as silently as possible.

From @franciscangypsy:
  • The hunger gnawed at him. Everyone could see that. But what lay behind the hunger no one knew... or really wanted to.

  • "Don't be dramatic." "Calm down." How can I when every time I look at you, I see exactly how you're going to die?

  • It seems apropos for some reason. That if a wild fire were to occur, it would be somewhere like Dismal Swamp.

  • They say Hell burns. I say it's endless winter. It steals your soul, your energy. Numbs you until nothing is left.

  • It was almost small enough that she could imagine that she didn't see it. Or that she imagined it.

  • His hands shook. Constantly. He blamed the Parkinsons or his nerves. Only his victims knew the truth. Now I do too.

  • It's a big question: What if. What if it rained? What if she never came? What if Bill's heart was where it belonged

From @MarilynPullen:
  • Lucy really hated being dead

From @Lizzetu:
  • I turned the key in the lock and opened the door with a pounding heart.

From @Ipodguy88:
  • On his way to bury the bodies, Herbert suddenly remembered he forgot to pick up his mother's birthday cake.

From @ReemaViqar:
  • Moonlight gilds the waves to liquid silver;eerie &desolate is the shore with only stepping stones for wandering souls

From @MCMJ:
  • Every day when she awoke, Lucy peeked into the living room to make sure her father's corpse was still there.

From @MorningAmbassdr:
  • "Go to your window right now, and look carefully at the street below; I'm sure you'll see what I'm talking about."

  • Mentally projected slides of my life hovered ghostly in the air, beckoning entry as I sat in the jukebox diner booth.

  • Elena remembered the turquoise of the lake that afternoon; shaking the start of it all was not an option.

  • Albert, busy gloating over his current strokes of good fortune, did not notice the other entering the hall.

  • Their jeep shrunk until it was as miniscule as they were, so it took them a hot day's trek back to its parking space.
  • "What you tell me now reminds me of a story told by my folk for ages, in which the hero also bears your name, Sam."

  • The remaining particles plummeted while dust drifted down and the wheels of her mind spun, flashing with protocol.

From ‏@lovethejester:
  • Cold and disoriented, she stood up out of the snow, still reeling from the spiral plunge she had taken from the sky.

From ‏@MattjOsborne:
  • I have accidentally deduced, after years of accidentally deducing, that I am quite strange, indeed.

From ‏@mamafeenix:
  • Did I ever tell you about the time my Uncle Troy tried to kill the monkey?

From @dorme99:
  • Anna made up her mind. No matter what happened tomorrow, she knew her answer would be “No.”

From @Lisacwilliams01:
  • The sounds of jazz music & people shouting for beads form a surreal soundtrack as I fight to regain consciousness.

From @animefan61:
  • It had been four days since he had any sleep, but it was necessary to keep moving.

That's it :)  The site doesn't have any other writing contests running at the moment, but you might want to keep an eye on this page just in case.

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