first lines meme

With “Once a Goddess” finally moved from the “unfinished” folder to the “finished” one, it’s time for another roundup of story fragments.

[untitled fairy tale story]

“Two crowns says he doesn’t make it past the blackberries.”

[untitled quasi-superhero story]

They didn’t call John in until the bullets had finished flying, until everyone who was going to surrender had surrendered and everyone who was going to die had died.

“Chrysalis” [same setting as “A Mask of Flesh”]

The new ground of the milpa showed like a scar in the forest it had been torn from.

[untitled story, same setting as “Such as Dreams Are Made Of”]

By day their scales glitter in the sun, winding sinuously through the cities of the world.

“The Unquiet Grave” [ballad-based]

Fever took my love from me.

“How They Fall”

He runs as fast as he can, until his lungs feel like lava and the impact of each step jolts him to his skull, until he is blind with exhaustion and terrified hope, but still he is too late.

[untitled Driftwood story, same setting as “A Heretic by Degrees”]

Only idiots bother trying to make maps of Driftwood.

“Mad Maudlin” [ballad-based]

Peter found her slippers just inside the room.

“Ink, Like Blood” [same setting as “A Mask of Flesh”]

I’ve seen the look on your face, when your granny starts telling the old stories.

“Xie Meng Lu Goes on Pilgrimage”

Treasured wife — By now you will have heard the sorry tale of my disgrace at court.

[untitled Xochitlicacan story, same setting as “A Mask of Flesh”]

The tap of the workmen’s chisels was a distant, dreamlike thing to Tlacuilo’s ears, as if it came from another world.

[untitled Nine Lands story]

Having ink on your skin was an offense punishable by death.

[untitled Tam Lin story]

Faerie trouble never really goes away.

[untitled Driftwood story, same setting as “A Heretic by Degrees”]

Time’s one of the most untrustworthy and useless concepts in all of Driftwood.

“Even in Decline”

The boar charged along the forest floor, feet pounding out a furious beat, tusks slicing at the air.

[untitled JB story, ballad-based]

Let me tell a tale of my father’s kin, for his blood runs in me, and so to me falls this duty: to keep the knowledge, the past-thought, the shape of how it began, as my father gave it to me.

Aaaand I don’t appear to have any copies of “Prince of the Stone” here with me, so no snippet from that one.

That’s everything that has at least a bit written. Most of my titles, oddly enough, belong to stories I haven’t started; most of my started stories have no titles. Of them all, I think I’m the most motivated to play with “Chrysalis” — but the notes I have with me don’t include the character names, so that may be problematic. We’ll see. I know Konil, and I might be able to remember a few more. Or get by with placeholders.

Any preferences from the peanut gallery?

0 Responses to “first lines meme”

  1. kythiaranos

    The opening of the untitled Nine Lands story piqued my interest.

    I smiled when I saw your comment about titles. I have a bunch of titles with no stories yet. One of them I’ve started several times, and it just won’t come out right. I guess it needs more seasoning.

    • Marie Brennan

      Ah, Varoslin’s story. Which can’t decide if it wants to be a short story, a novel, or a trilogy. πŸ™‚ I have hopes I could convince it to be a short story that could later be used as the starting point for a novel or trilogy, but that requires me to figure out a good deal more about the setting and so on.

  2. mizkit

    They didn’t call John in until the bullets had finished flying, until everyone who was going to surrender had surrendered and everyone who was going to die had died.

    • Marie Brennan

      Alas, that’s the one I really need to talk to an FBI psychologist to write, and my earlier attempt to make that happen fell through. I may try again.

  3. faerie_writer

    Wow, these really are some awesome first line! It’s hard to pick just one, but if I had to be pinned down, I think I’d pick this one:

    He runs as fast as he can, until his lungs feel like lava and the impact of each step jolts him to his skull, until he is blind with exhaustion and terrified hope, but still he is too late.

    God, that’s just so INTENSE!

  4. london_setterby

    I like them all! I especially like the ones set in Driftwood.

    What a fun meme. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    • Marie Brennan

      I love Driftwood in general. πŸ™‚ Those two lines need actual, y’know, plots attached to them — then we’ll be cooking.

  5. mythusmage

    There are nice indeed. In response here is one of my own, this for a near future what-if regarding the effect of a mantle plume lifting up the Black Sea sea bed and draining that body of water.

    Dmitri lounged in his boat. It wasn’t a fancy boat, or a fancy fishing rod, or a fancy fishing line, or a fancy hook. The boat was old and roughly, though adequately, maintained. The fishing gear—pole, line, and hook—was basic, but served to catch members of the Don’s growing population of large fish. A population growth made possible by Russia’s own declining human population.

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