I have electric toenails.
One of the things that seem to be consistent in good writing, whether it is a work of fiction or an essay or whatever, is the importance of a strong opening, something to grab the reader’s attention, to pull them in. Once you have the reader’s attention, you can do whatever you want. For example, I don’t really have electric toenails. I made that up to make my point.
I’ve been collecting good opening lines for some time now and jotting them down in my journal. Someday I hope to write stories that make use of them. What follows is a sampling of some of these journal entries – I think you will agree that these are great springboards from which stories could be sprung:
– The bananas were ripe.
– He stared into the abyss, deep and cavernous, suddenly aware that he hadn’t brushed his teeth.
– It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The point is, his watch had stopped at a quarter to five.
– “Father,” he asked of the endless darkness that engulfed him, “do you have any cheese?”
– The years were not kind to him. The months, on the other hand, were quite generous, particularly May and October, frequently sharing their pudding.
– My only regret is that I was wearing tube socks.
– I can’t wrap my head around the fact that she is gone, probably because my head has no elasticity.
– She left me as empty as a Republican’s soul.
– Days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months. The months, curiously, turned back into days. Nobody knew quite what to do.
– How many times do I have to tell you, I don’t know where the Kleenex are!
– Their relationship was doomed from the beginning – she was a ballerina, and he was a three ringed binder.
I had more, but I spilled some grape juice on my journal, rendering the rest of them unreadable. That’s okay, though – at least I saved the really good ones!