Friday, June 25, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way...

15 comments:

David Jace said...

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way...

...says the Leader of the Unhappy Religion. Well, he is wrong! Here in Perfectia we have no unhappy families! This Unhappiness Cult is trying to subvert our government! They want people to believe that they are individuals, that they are special. Special, in their unhappiness! What snark is that! As if anyone wants to be unhappy. And don't start quoting me their growing numbers again. I tell you, it is NOT because people are unhappy. He's tricking them. He's brainwashing them. They are not individuals; they are not unhappy; and this will not be allowed to continue. Find this 'preacher of sorrow' and teach him what unhappiness really is!

Olivia Harper said...

Wow, David. You're very passionate on the subject of unhappiness.

Christine H said...

This sounds familiar. Dang it! I don't know what it's from, but I should know.

Laura Martone said...

Nerts! And I picked it just for you, Christine! I thought I'd try a truly classic novel this time.

David Jace said...

Truly a classic work, Laura! I admit, I cheated, though I did find it familiar. Thou art truly a czar of literature!

Laura Martone said...

Oh, thank you, David. I do try. :-)

Candy said...

That's what the old guy said but I don't agree. Unhappy families sit around individually sharing their gripes, spreading their miseries so each listener can add it to his own list and wallow in unhappiness until he comes out as unrecognizable as an old pig.

Happy families have their own joys and secrets, each content in itself and so keeping its individuality. The members can leave for diverse adventures, unafraid and knowing they always have home to return to.

Unhappy families are bogged down whereas the only way happy families are alike is that they can fly.

Donna Hole said...

Oh, My God! I know this one. I've looked in A Million Little Pieces, Broken, Running With Scissors, and A Piece of Cake. No, those are non-fiction. Is it A Painted House, or The Lovely Bones? A Thousand Acres?

Oooh, drat you Laura. I know this one!!!

Donna Hole said...

. . . And probably the better for their notoriety. After all, comparing happiness to happiness isn’t much fun. It’s cliché.

But with unhappiness; oh the variety one can come up with. The “yes, but” stretches on exponentially as the ability to one-up the complaint expounds.

And nobody - nobody - in Carla County had as many unhappy complaints as Zegeda Zambowski. Zzz as she was more commonly known, though no one had bothered to find out if her middle name started with a Z. For once, Zegeda kept her mouth shut on the subject. Perhaps she was content with the snoring connotations of the moniker, as it certainly gave her more fuel for unhappiness.

Why on earth two such likeable parents with the acceptable names of Anthony and Amalia Shoemaker would choose such a ghastly name for their first, and later revealed only, child was beyond the villagers. But it did make for consistent gossip. And gossip seemed to be what the folks of Carla County revered most. The village newspaper - The Daily Gossip - confirmed this universal pastime for the interested citizenry.

Can you guess who the founder/editor of this bi-weekly essential read could be?

Yes, it is Zzz herself, started at the tender age of nine, when her esteemed shoe making parents mysteriously disappeared; leaving their awkwardly named daughter 10 pieces of gold, the title to the Shoemaker half-acre land and business, and more questions than answers to her peculiar fate.

.........dhole

Donna Hole said...

No, no!? Its A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket.

Ok, now I have to watch the movie to find out, since I don't own the series.

.........dhole

Laura Martone said...

Ooh, Donna, I'm as tickled by your story about Zzz as I am about your guesses. If only the line DID refer to Lemony Snicket!

Donna Hole said...

Thanks Laura!

Now, are you gonna expose the author, or keep me in the dark like a mushroom?

I like the Unhappiness Cult David. Sounds interesting for a short story.

.......dhole

Laura Martone said...

Oops. Sorry, Donna. Didn't mean to leave you in the dark for so long... I'm not feeling well this weekend, so CIC slipped my fuzzy mind.

Anyhoo, without further ado, this week's first line challenge has been brought to you by Leo Tolstoy... it's the start of that depressing Russian classic, Anna Karenina. Now, does it ring a bell?

Donna Hole said...

Oh yes; but only as far as the title. Sadly, I've never read the novel.

I suppose it should go on my TBR list.

Thanks Laura, hope you're feeling better soon.

...........dhole

Katherine said...

I am Katherine and I am really unhappy.Those people are taking my familys thing's.I might be dead but I still have feeling's.Why would my family leave me don't they love me.Well I don't minde but at least take me with you.I hope they don't destroy my home I just can't leave I can't.I wanted be a lawer but know it can't be possible.They are unhappy because of my death,but theyshouldn't know I'm going to a better place.

-Hyael O.(R6)