Friday, August 6, 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 Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. Congrats to David Jace's pal for guessing correctly!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug...


Paul (Peace Keeper) said...

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug...

Paul threw his jacket on the floor and glared at Jo.

"I told you I'll get it all back. I won't let him get away with this."

Jo turned and looked up at him, eyes wide and brimming with concern. "What are you going to do?" She whispered.

"What do you think I'm going to do? I'm going to do what I do best. I'm going to sign in and kick his ass until Justice is served."

She scrambled off the rug, worried.

"Paul, no. He isn't like the other ones. He's... powerful. You don't have what it takes, Paul! I'm sorry, but it's true: Almercy's more powerful than any of you."

Paul grabbed her by shoulders and stared into her eyes. He knew she was telling the truth.

"It doesn't matter; I have to try. And don't call me Paul. I am The Peace Keeper."

David Jace said...

I'm guessing Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

And, I'm putting a different twist on it, only partially inspired by Futurama.

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug...

Her mother shoved more paper up the chimney. "We'll have a little something for you, dear. You just better hope there's no Santa on Christmas! The news says he was focusing more in Europe last year, but you never know. Always have to be prepared." She finished stuffing the chimney with paper and set the spiked fire-grill back in place.

Jo traced a design in the carpet, pouting. "Mary at school said that Santa used to be good. That he used to be the one that brought presents instead of our parents. Is that true?"

Her mother set her hands on her round hips and looked down at her. After a moment, she wiped away a tear and nodded.

"It is true. He used to be a creature of joy, generosity, and childish innocence. Kids even used to go sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas." Her mother ignored Jo's gasp of horror. Imagine sitting on Santa's lap! How horrible. "I guess after a few hundred years of listening to people demanding things of you and not being grateful, you get fed up with it. He finally snapped, decided the world would be better off without a few of the ungrateful children. Christmas has been a little different ever since."

She dusted her hands off from the chimney and look at the clock. "Oh heavens, look at the time! Jo, go set the milk and cookies on the front stoop with your Prayer of Mercy and then off into bed. Remember, The Santa knows if you're sleeping; he knows if you're awake."

Virtue Almercy said...

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug...

Virtue Almercy glanced over as he stuffed the next box into the big, red bag. She was the only one that had started to regain consciousness, but she was still as securely tied as the others there on the rug.

"Quit whining. Tell the insurance company and you'll probably get twice as many presents." He shook a small present. It rattled, but didn't reveal its secret to him. He stuffed it into the bag anyway. "Besides, I'm going to have an awesome Christmas!" He laughed loudly and shoved the last of the presents into the bag. This family must be loaded; they had a huge tree and loads of presents. He almost didn't have enough room in his bag for all of it.

The girl whimpered again, straining against the ropes. He gave her a small kick with his foot to shut her up.

"You must be spoiled as hell. Look at this place. It's a mansion. Most people's apartments would fit inside your living room. Check this out. I can stand in your fireplace. What are you burning in here, oak trees?" A slow smile spread across his face as he stood completely inside their fireplace and looked up. He looked back at Jo and took hold of the big red bag.

"Merry Christmas to all you bitches!" He fired off his jetpack and rocketed up the fireplace and away into the night. Yeah, this was the best Christmas ever.

Candy said...

lying on the rug, white and deep , that covered the cabin floor.
"But you said this cruise was to be your present," said George."You insisted that would be enough."
"I know i said it, but you should've known I didn't mean it."
"Aw, come on Honey," George patted the bed beside him. "This is our honeymoon. Well, sort of, anyway."
A rapping on the door startled them both. Jo jumped up in a swirl of silk negligee and answered it accepting, without a thank you. the red roses and small box handed her by the steward.
She cast the flowers on the bed beside the startled George, then ripped open the package. Gleefully she took out the diamond necklace, the one she'd admired while passing Tiffany's window with her husband the day before she left him.
"That's it, George," she said, "We've not left port yet and as far as I'm concerned you can take your cruise alone. I'm getting off and going back to a man who knows how to make Christmas Christmas!"

Sure to be Little Women. But is that too obvious? You know my author says she never read it!

David Jace said...

Oh what a wonderful twist, Candy! It hadn't even occurred to me that Jo might not be a child! Great ending, too!

Christine H said...

Little Women, for sure!

Laura Martone said...

Let's see... three correct answers! Congrats, David, Candy, and Christine - it's indeed Little Women!

I realize that first lines using main characters' names are pretty easy to figure out, but I just can't help myself!

Christine H said...

Actually, it wasn't the name Jo, although that was a good hint. For me it was the line about not having Christmas presents, and the voice.

Besides, you have to let us "win" once in a while. hee hee.

Laura Martone said...

I fully agree, Christine! And, of course, I want you guys to win EVERY week!

Jil said...

Hey, Laura, it's you who deserve the presents for posting these fun things for us at such an ungodly hour of the morning! Thank you!

Laura Martone said...

Aw, Jil, that's sweet... and much appreciated. Perhaps I shouldn't admit this, but I'm not always up at such an ungodly hour. Teehee. That's the magic of Blogger's pre-posting feature!