I have a thing for first sentences. I just kinda love them. I have a file where I store them as they come to me, and sometimes that first sentence will generate a second, and a third, and once in a while turn into a book. Yesterday, I came up with one that I’m going to do something different with: I’m using it to issue a challenge.
Here’s how it works. Write the opening sentence of a story. Make it the kind of sentence that will cause the reader to continue reading, but, more than that, and here’s the kicker: see how much of the world, the setting, the characters, the story you can imply–and note that word imply–in just that one sentence. The contest will run a week (closing 6pm central, 4/18/15), and I’ll judge the entries myself. The winner gets an autographed copy of the next Incrementalist novel by Skyler White and me, which should be out in something like a year. I’ll disqualify anyone I think is angle-shooting, whether by writing an absurdly long sentence or by some means I haven’t thought of yet. I encourage talking about the entries–you know, arguing or speculating about what is or isn’t implied. I also encourage everyone to then take his or her sentence (or someone else’s, with permission) and turn it into a story.
Please preface each entry by saying Entry: as per the example below. Enter as many times as you want.
Special note to those who are tuning in from Facebook or Twitter: only entries here, on my blog, will count.
Here is my sentence, to get you going:
Entry: I always come together at bed time, and spend a few minutes before I fall asleep just lying there and finding out what the rest of me has been up to.
Think you can do better? Go!
ETA: I’ll start judging soon. God help me.