Exercise – Beginning Sentence Stories

This is an exercise from ‘What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers’ by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter.

Here’s some sentences each starting some stories, to work on making the first line engaging, interesting and starting with something other than a beginning.

  1. Flying in the city proved to be quite problematic for The Raven, as even bird-empowered superheroes succumbed to being unable to see the glass blocking off an otherwise reasonable short-cut.
  2. High school could be hard enough for the normal kids let alone those considered different, so the world’s first robotic schoolgirl was having a lot of trouble fitting in.
  3. If it could, the entirely pacifist vegetable knife would object strongly to its current position embedded in the chest of its owner’s girlfriend; she drew the ire of the hardliner vegan when he caught her stopping off for a bacon double cheeseburger.
  4. While out for the evening at an experimental gastronomy restaurant Ted learned never to say that the starter was the ‘dog’s bollocks’, lest the chef praise his discerning taste-buds.
  5. She did not expect to wake up on a cold metal table in a pungently chemical room, nor did she expect the first words she’d hear to be: “You’ve been murdered, but you’re all right now.”
  6. “I could care less,” Lorna muttered, not a misspeak of the term ‘I couldn’t care less’, but a statement on her overprotective tendencies towards her partner.
  7. The morale of the story was simple: Never be a big fish in a small pond when that pond is a fishing spot.
  8. The avid believer in the afterlife wished he had been wrong in death, bound to the scene of his murder watching wife and attacker fumbling under the bed covers.
  9. Ten minutes before she had to be at the cafe for her date and a giant monster was attacking the city; the fleeting thought that some other magical robot pilot might show up and save the day if she skipped out very briefly crossed her mind.
  10. “Of all the cities in all the countries in all of the world, I had to become the spirit of Birmingham.”
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