In times past, we used the “First Line Challenge” to jump-start our creativity. Normally, a moderator would post the first sentence or passage of a famous novel and then ask each of us to create a paragraph that was totally unique, hoping to generate several different perspectives from one beginning.
Although some writers enjoyed the exercise, it wasn't a terribly popular venture, so I thought that perhaps we could try something a little different – hence, the so-called “First Line Challenge with a Twist.” What I propose is that we use the initial sentence of a famous novel to spark a group story instead of just a series of flash-fiction paragraphs.
So, let's see how far – and how crazy – we can take it! To get this party rolling, I'm offering this relatively famous first line as the start of our story:
When Mr. Hiram B. Otis, the American Minister, bought Canterville Chase, every one told him he was doing a very foolish thing, as there was no doubt at all that the place was haunted...