Friday, December 18, 2009

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing!  I will give you a sentence (or part of a sentence) from the opening of a famous book.  Your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to try this little exercise.  Let's see how many different perspectives we can create.

Bonus points for anyone who can identify the book the sentence(s) are from.  Last week's line was from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

Okay, are you ready? Here we go...

It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria.  Alongside the platform at Aleppo stood the train grandly designated in railway guides as the Taurus Express.  By the step leading up to the sleeping-car stood...

17 comments:

Bo said...

By the step leading up to the sleeping-car stood...

...a totally sexy babe. I asked her if she had her own berth on the sleeping car, and she said she did. So I--

Ow! Ricky, let me go! Let a guy get creative, okay?

Ricky said...

Go get creative in the studio, Bo.

Carry on, folks. Bo is not going to get literary today.

Samantha Harper said...

I'm curious, Ricky. Do you really have any control over Bo and the others? They sure do seem to have minds of their own.

Must get weary trying to rein them in at times.

Candy said...

--stood an old man, so frail and shaky, I felt the movement of the train must lash him to pieces like a tall pine in a high wind. His right boot kept lifting to mount the slight rise but each time fell back, and then waited to regain strength for another try. I watched fascinated. The people behind him were getting restless. "Move!" "Get out of the way, old fool!" Then someone shoved him aside and I, caught in the current, went with them.
Now I lie in my bunk trying to forget the sight of the tears sliding down that ravaged face as I passed.

Ginger said...

a strapping Russian ski instructor named Ivan. He was trying not to stare at me as I strode onto the platform in my mink coat and muff. "Darling, can you tell me the way to the Istanbul train?" I said.

"You have found it," he said. He grinned, displaying a set of perfect white teeth, and offered me his arm. "Watch your step."

I tilted my head up to smile at him. "I shall, darling. Oh, I shall."

At least that is what I think happened. It's the last thing I remember before getting my high heel caught in the grille of the steps and falling, hitting my head on the pavement.

Jesse Littleton said...

By the step leading up to the sleeping-car stood...

...that Ivan chap, staring at a lovely woman in a mink coat, who was lying facedown on the pavement.

"How can you just stand there?!" I shouted. Then, I rushed toward the poor woman. "Here, let me help you up." Gently, I lifted her to her feet, and tried to located her missing shoe. "What cretins these Russians can be."

Although I can't say I approved of the fur coat, she seemed like a very nice lady - grateful, at least, for the assistance. And it was, after all, a bitterly cold day. I probably could've used a fur coat myself.

Ginger said...

Oh, thank you Jesse. I was afraid I dreamed that last bit after I hit my head.

Where did Ivan go?

Would you like to borrow my coat. There's a blizzard out there.

Christine H said...

By the way, any guesses as to which famous book this is? Mystery lovers, any clues?

Laura Martone said...

I like mysteries, Christine, especially Agatha Christie ones, so my first guess would be something like Murder on the Orient Express... but I'm not really sure.

Jesse Littleton said...

No problem, Ginger. Happy to help a lady in need.

Devi Marconi said...

Oh, yes, he's quite chilvarous, Ginger.

Jesse Littleton said...

I'd think you were seriously complimenting me, but for the smirk on your face.

Devi Marconi said...

No, no, I'm actually quite serious. You're a good guy to have around in a pinch. And Ginger's very lucky that you were there to help.

But what, pray tell, were you doing in Syria in the first place? When did you have time to leave the Hollow?

Jesse Littleton said...

Oh, Devi, sometimes you're impossible. But I love you anyway.

Incidentally, don't you have lunch duty right now?

Alexander said...

By the step leading up to the sleeping-car stood...

myself and a large trunk. I was waiting for someone to help me carry the trunk onto the train. It wasn't that I was weak by any means. It's just that the trunk carried Charles, who was hiding from both the sun and people, and all of our possessions, making it a rather heavy objected.

I watched from my spot as a rather tall Russian talk to a woman. They exchanged a few words and then the woman strolled on. Or would have, but she got caught on something, and ended up sprawled on the ground.

I finally gave up on ever getting help, and struggled to lift the trunk onto the train.

Christine H said...

Yes, Laura, you are right. What we really need next to the train is Hercule Poirot, the fastidious little man with the famous mustaches egg-shaped head. Incidentally, he was based on a waiter Agatha Christie saw in a restaurant once.

Oscar the Grouch was also based on a waiter.

Waiters have more cultural impact than I realized.

Christine H said...

I meant, mustaches AND egg-shaped head.