Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: A Pile of First Lines

Sometimes you hit what might be a good idea and get stuck there. These were opening sentences and images I considered posting before losing momentum; I’m not sure if they’re worth keeping, but they might be worth expanding later.

The room might not have been green; it was hard to tell. Marble walls, marble floor, and enormous green glass windows.

The only organization in the room was the collection of arrows.

She wanted in the old sense, that of an absence rather than a desire, looking for completion rather than for addition.

There was writing on the walls—and the floor—and the ceiling. Neat. Precise. Incomprehensible. Inescapable. Most definitely not hers.

They saw her as a child anyway. Why not take advantage of it?

One did not take a sword in a fight with the moderation queue. One took bludgeons, and blinders; shielded oneself with one’s own ignorance, tried not to think too hard about whether the spammers bothered considering the target audience or what a lunette even was.

She would remember the smiles; draw them forth from the back of her mind to bask in their light. They came easily, a thousand last moments, all different, all alike—came easily, but only when bidden. Most often, she needed them to swarm those that came unbidden—the ones with the blood, the death-tight jaws, the absences where tissue should be. She fought and raced as much against death, she felt, as for death—to tame it, to dole out eternity in careful doses, not to let it fly from her hands and maul some person whose perfect memory she had yet to craft, nor to settle for allowing it to indulge itself on someone else when someone decided to turn it loose on her.


  1. Michael says:

    Excellent. You have a real knack for capturing atmosphere in just a few words so that immediately, we’re right there in the middle of it, so to speak. And the last one is simply beautiful. I don’t understand it, but I have to read it over and over again until I do just because it’s so beautiful.

  2. Sean Holland says:

    Some good imagery there. Would be interesting to see where some of them lead.

  3. Ravyn says:

    Michael: I’m glad you enjoyed that last as much as I enjoyed writing it. If it helps your confusion any, I wrote it with Lirit in mind.

    Sean: Thanks! I’ll probably come back to at least one of these, if I can figure out where they were going.

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