Friday Writing Exercise 3 Comments

A couple of weeks ago the illustrious Sam Cooney drew out attention on this blog to the beauty (or horror) of opening lines. There he was simply drawing our attention, but I say let’s go back to this and use them. Exploit them!

I’ve picked out four opening lines that Sam posted, both here and on his own blog. Your challenge is to take one of these lines and write a paragraph, a scene, a story or heck even a novel from them. Try and write freely and without self-censorship. Leave that silly editing and rewriting for later. Take an opening line and just write. See where you go.

From Wells Tower we get:

‘Bob Munroe woke up on his face. His jaw hurt and morning birds were yelling and there was a real discomfort in his underpants.’

‘Sometimes, sometimes, after six or so large drinks, it seems like a sane idea to call my little brother on the phone.’

And from Peter Carey:

‘My father was in his fifties but he kept himself in good shape. His skin was brown and his muscles still firm.’

‘The first reports of dematerializing people were not generally believed and were suppressed by the media.’

For the adventurous types out there, try a paragraph from each of the four lines. Or grab the nearest book to you and take the opening line from that and write from there. Try not to self-censor, reread or edit. That stuff is for later – the exercise is for writing!

Remember, if you try the exercise and don’t want to post the results, please post comments on how it went anyway – what you got out of it. We’d love to hear.

  • http://www.toothsoup.com phill

    I gave the adventurous challenge a go today, turned out to be easier to link the paragraphs than I first thought!

    Cheers for the prompt (:

    The first reports of dematerializing people were not generally believed and were suppressed by the media. But the general media couldn’t stop underground communities swelling up on the Itnernet and in cafes and scout halls around the country. As the body count rose–or fell, as was the problem–a tremulous voice of concern was heard to rise from the public.

    My father was in his fifties but he kept himself in good shape. His skin was brown and his muscles still firm. If anyone had tried to take him without his permission, ther ewould have at leat been a sign of struggle; a bloody gob stuck to the fly screen, or the screech of his running shoes on the lino. As it was, on eday we awoke to find only his bulk’s impression rising slowly from his bed as gravity released it.

    * * *

    Bob Munroe woke up on his face. His jaw hurt and morning birds were yelling and there was a real discomfort in his underpants. It was not the solid ache of an untended erection, but rather a very sharp pain in his behind. a little like the hemorhoids he had had the misfortune of developing durign his tenure as senior management. The taste of soil was in his mouth and nose, and he soon realised that the softness he was resting on was neither linen nor carpet, but rather a full bed of tall grass.

    Sometimes, sometimes, after six or so large drinks, it seems like a sane idea to call my little brother on the phone,‘ he mutters to himself. But all thoughts of his boozy night out with his troubled sibling vanished as he got to all fours and inspected his surroundings. The grass ended at a join of what looked like half-clear black plastic that stretched up in a cylinder perhaps three hundred metres in diameter. The cylinder rose around Bob until perspective forced it to a bright pinprick. Bob sat back on his haunches; he could really use a pair of pants in a time like this.

  • http://www.killyourdarlingsjournal.com/blog Estelle

    My father was in his fifties but he kept himself in good shape. His skin was brown and his muscles still firm. On Friday morning, he dunked a tablespoon of Metamucil into a double of Famous Grouse and said, ‘You know what, I’m going to do a Friday Writing Exercise.’ Out in Melbourne’s inner north suburbs, Maddie Crofts felt a sudden but pleasurable blush rise to her face, and it has been 36 hours since any other thought has tracked across her excellent brain.

  • Madeleine Crofts

    Sometimes, sometimes, after six or so large drinks, it seems like a sane idea to call my little brother on the phone. He would answer and it would be early there and I would yell and mumble and he would hang up. He would sound pissed off and I would feel guilty and angry and end up sitting outside on the back porch sobering up until the morning light filled the sky. Sometimes I would shower and go about the day normally, but more often I would fall into bed and the day would be spent sleeping and drinking more.

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