TFR’s Friday Five – Prompts 533-537

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Five writing prompts to inspire your writing this weekend.

TFR's Writing Prompt 533
“But making people fear me is my favorite!”
TFR's Prompt 534
“Where’s your roommate?” “Why are you saying ‘roommate’ like they’re not that?” “Because you’ve been living together for twenty years and we all know that no one sleeps in the second bedroom.”
TFR's Prompt 535
“I suppose I could forgive you.” “Now, or in six years?” “I don’t know yet.”
TFR's Prompt 536
“This house will be perfect to entertain the neighbors that probably already hate us.”
TFR's Prompt 537
“I want someone to go to war for this house.” “But I’ll just settle for someone buying it so we can move out to a ranch in the country.”

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9 Ways To Craft The Perfect Opening Line

That Pesky Opening Line

When I started writing my weekly Writing Tips posts last year, I posted a piece called Five Ways To Start Your Story. While it does still read as nearly 2,000 words of me crying about how much I loved the new Power Rangers movie (for nostalgia reasons, among other things, and now as I write THIS post, Hasbro has announced that more Power Rangers movies will be in the works in the near future, so I’m basically freaking out about it all over again), I also talked about the types of scenes writers can use to start off their stories on the right foot, as a way to really draw your readers in and make them want to keep turning the page. More on that here.

That’s the macro piece.

Welcome to the micro edition!

Recently, and I don’t even know how it came up, I started thinking about a conversation I had on Facebook in 2009 with two of my closest friends from high school. Back in the 2000s, one of the most popular things for people to do with their Facebooks was “vague book”, also known as posting vague Facebook statuses, with the goal (whether conscious or subconscious) to encourage people to ask what’s going on with you. (I got to college and was harassed so much by my roommates—let’s just say it was in a nice way—and that broke me of the habit. But that is neither here nor there).

This conversation started when my friend M changed her profile picture (to something I can’t even remember, though it was definitely not a picture of her face). And then she added a status that said, “No, my profile picture isn’t random, there’s a story behind it.”

I chimed in with, “If you insist.” And our friend J added, “Whatever you say, M.”

And then I added the comment that would start off a three-hour back-and-forth-and-back again volley of some of the most well-known (and some not so well-known) opening lines from some of the most popular books and movie and television shows when I said: “Okay, I’ll get you started…Once upon a time…”

Why not start off with a classic, am I right?

Throughout the hours-long conversation, lines we tossed in included:

“…in a galaxy far, far away…” (can’t go wrong with Star Wars)

“It was a dark and stormy night…” (another oldie, but goodie)

“The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. They look…human. There are many copies. And they have a plan…” (Like I was going to miss out on bringing up BSG, even if, as it turns out, the Cylons DIDN’T actually have a plan ¯\_()_/¯)

“Hey, I’m just trying to live my life as a regular kid, but people still think of me as THE FAMOUS JETT JACKSON.” (Best show ever, or best show ever? Don’t even get me started on how the TV movie inspired one of the very first novels I wrote back in college)

“LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!!!”

“Here it comes! From the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood, it’s The Price is Right!”

“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s continuing mission: to explore strange, new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.” (Did you know that you can be both a Trekkie AND a Star Wars fan? What a world.)

“Here’s a story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls…”

“Are ya ready kids? Aye, Aye captain! I can’t heeeaaar yooouuu! AYE, AYE CAPTAIN! oooooooooooo………Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

“Now this is a story all about how my life got twisted upside down and I’d like to take a minute so just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.”

“EARTH!” “FIRE!” “WIND!” “WATER!” “HEART!” “Go Planet!” “By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!”

The moral of the story is that when I was thinking about this conversation, it led me to think about how J, M and I volleyed opening lines for stories and movies and shows at the drop of a hat. We didn’t have to think about it, we just typed what came to mind off the tops of our heads. All the lines, the ones above and the ones from the rest of the conversation, were lines that stuck with us for one reason or another.

Some are catching jingles, some are lines from literary classics, and some are from shows with cult-like followings that we watched over and over and over, and when you do something like that, a show’s opening title cards are really going to stick with you, no matter how hard you try to knock them from your mind. I can hear the Battlestar Galactica intro score in my head as I type this post.

As for your novel, your goal (other than finishing it) is to craft an opening line that sticks, one that resonates with your readers and one that will stand out, one that will potentially end up being tattooed to the bodies of your biggest fans (that’s always the dream, isn’t it?)

So, click the Continue Reading button to read the nine tips and tricks to craft the best opening sentence for your story.

Continue reading “9 Ways To Craft The Perfect Opening Line”

TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 532

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TFR's Writing Prompt 532
“It’s really difficult to tell most of these callers that they can’t talk to who they want because their timing just really sucks.”

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TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 531

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TFR's Prompt 531
“I shouldn’t have to use my exasperated whiny voice to guilt ALL OF YOU into doing your jobs.”

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TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 530

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TFR's Prompt 530
“I can take him. I took a self-defense class when I was 15.”

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Written yourself into a corner and need advice? Check out the Writing Tips page for more resources.

TFR’s Friday Five – Prompts 525-529

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Five writing prompts to inspire your writing this weekend.

TFR's Writing Prompt 525
“I steal hearts, not souls.” “It’s okay if you want to do both.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 526
“You know your day is off to a great start when you wake up and your first thought is, ‘no’.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 527
527 “Hello Life-Ruiner.” “Oh calm down, that was years ago. Your life doesn’t look too ruined to me.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 528
“I’ve put up with this galaxy’s bullshit for 800 years, you bet your ass I’m ready to pass on.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 259
“There’s a rumor that her death wasn’t an accident, but an assassination.” “Someone’s twenty years late on the uptake.”

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Written yourself into a corner and need advice? Check out the Writing Tips page for more resources.

TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 524

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TFR's Writing Prompt 524
“How dare you wear that cable-knit sweater at me like that.”

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Written yourself into a corner and need advice? Check out the Writing Tips page for more resources.

TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 523

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TFR's Writing Prompt 523
“The devastation I leave behind tends to take a little while to shake.”

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TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 522

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TFR's Writing Prompt 522
“I’m really growing as a person.” “What? Because you deleted a semi-salacious email you weren’t supposed to see anyway?”

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TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 521

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TFR's Writing Prompt 521
“You’re fired from the war.” “I don’t think that’s how that works.”

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TFR’s Friday Five – Prompts 516-520

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Five writing prompts to inspire your writing this weekend.

TFR's Writing Prompt 516
“Last chance to tell me what you’re concerned about.” “Basically, everything.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 517
“She’s so young, she mostly just looks like a potato with eyes.” “That’s your newborn you’re talking about.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 518
“We’re giving him too much power.” “But, it’s power he doesn’t want.” “Don’t be a fool. Everyone wants power.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 519
“Your spine was the encyclopedic definition of ‘not remotely functional’, of course you had to stay behind.” “I still should have gone with you.” “If you’re going to continue being this ridiculous, I’m getting someone to up your meds.”
TFR's Writing Prompt 520
“I did what I could, you know, while I was also busy trying not to bleed to death.”

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TFR’s Daily Prompt No. 515

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TFR's Writing Prompt 515
“We don’t have seasons here. We have War and Not War.”

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Written yourself into a corner and need advice? Check out the Writing Tips page for more resources.