Saturday, May 13, 2017

First Lines (Part 2)

Back in January, I posted a collection of opening lines from various stories (in various stages of completion), but didn't have room to include them all. So we're back for round two!*


*Sorry, no graphics today. I barely had time to get the post itself ready, and it was already mostly prepared. XD


Legend tells of a great treasure deep in the heart of the Fortress of Eternal Winter, a treasure so valuable that the one worthy enough to find it should experience ecstasy beyond belief. And not only that, but they should find themselves with a life longer than any other. It was this prize the noble knight sought, and already it had cost him dearly . . .


[The Fortress of Eternal Winter, short story (a parody), complete]


***


The little girl shuffled through the dew-spangled grass, blinking sleep from her eyes. Just ahead, a man sat on a rock at the edge of the overhang.


He swivelled and gave her a soft smile. "Good morning, little one."


She smiled back, though muzzily from morning drowsiness. "Morning." She reached his side.


The man picked her up and set her on his lap. The two sat quietly for a time. Nothing was said, for the dawn spoke eloquently enough for them both. A burning red sliver of sun had already appeared along the horizon, and birds were testing their singing voices, and far, far away, the ocean surf sighed.


[This is the Day, flash fiction, complete]


***


"Merry Christmas, Hannah." Lisa Kehler leaned down so the elderly, bedridden woman could hear her and gently squeezed the fragile hand.


[Tired of Doing Good, short story, complete]


***


Vannon paused, ice-encrusted shovel poised above a snowy drift. The air tingled with a barely perceptible whine, just at the edge of the ear's range. He cocked his head and concentrated on the sound. His breath-clouds came slower; the dull roar of rushing blood slowed. At a glance, one would think him a statue: furry mantle frozen in thick tufts, short beard spangled with chilled drops of moisture, and rabbit-hide gloves wrapped tightly around his shovel's wooden shaft.


There--there it was again. A faint drone, like the blur of insect wings. Vannon's eyes slid to the southward mountains, a shattered spine of rock wracking the azure sky.


[untitled, unfinished]


***


I have one green eye and one brown eye. The green eye sees truth, but the brown eye sees much, much more. With it, I can perceive things no one else can. You make think this is a wonderful gift, but I assure you, it is a curse.


[untitled, writing exercise]


***


"Arctic, I already told you there was to be no snowfall practice in your room!" The voice, although muffled, demanded immediate attention.


Arctic winced and cracked her door open. A rivulet of water trickled past her foot and toward the stairs. "Sorry, mother."


[untitled, writing exercise]


***


Pheori's bare feet padded softly down the marble floor of the Emperor's treasure hall. He rolled his eyes toward the vaulted ceiling and tried to pay attention to Emperor Cho's happy prattling. But his legs ached to run somewhere and his lungs desired the hot desert oxygen.


[untitled, unfinished]


***


The glare of the August sun threw glints across the lake. Madison Paratore shielded her eyes with a hand. A sigh warmed her lips. "It's the last hoorah, you guys."


[untitled, unfinished]


***


"So Kendrick, are you going to fix it or what?"


"It doesn't need fixing, Trapper."


"Doesn't need . . .? Kendrick! Look at it! It's torn in the corners, covered in debris, and so bright a Flat-Raider could see it miles away."


[untitled, writing exercise]


***


I slouch on the barstool and loop my fingers through the lacy yarn. It's red and orange and burgundy, like the trees I see through the kitchen window.


"Are your parents coming back this evening?" Aunt Bailey asks. Her knitting needles click against each other and the half-made scarf drapes over her lap like a fluffy python.


[untitled, writing exercise]


***


Lyric reached the top of the stone steps built into the side of the hill. His tired legs were not nearly as heavy as his heart. Sharp wind slapped his face, tugged his long hair, pressed his cloak against his ribcage. "Talon," he said, but a gust of air snatched away the name. He tried again, louder this time. "Talon?"


[untitled, writing exercise]


***


All was silent at the train station. A crumpled piece of trash blew past three pairs of feet at a bench--a pair of thick-soled black boots, two mismatched loafers, and red sneakers. One of these sneakers jiggled up and down very fast.


The owner of the red sneakers, Owen, sighed and looked at his watch. 5:13. The train was late.


[untitled, writing exercise]


***


I sit up with a start, blinking in the light shining over my desk. Had I fallen asleep? I rub my eyes and look around my bedroom. Everything looks the same as it always has. The clock shows 1:47 p.m. in glaring red letters.


[Rewritten, flash fiction, complete]


***


"Let's go over this again." Dr. Teagan propped his elbows on the desk and leaned forward. "I know we've discussed your experiences several times, but it would help with my diagnosis if we took another look at things. Is that all right with you?"
Josiah took a deep breath to quell the familiar heat churning in his belly. You've practically diagnosed me already. Why rehash it? But aloud he muttered, "Fine."


[The Prophet's Key, novel, unfinished]


***


The little flame throbbed, illuminating Father’s hands as they worked. The glass rod he held with a metal tool drooped over like a strand of freshly made taffy. He began fashioning one end. His tweezers flashed in the firelight, slowly persuading the glass to take the form he desired.


I watched over his shoulder and held my breath. Magic required silence.


[The Glass Girl, novella, complete]


***


Tree branches scraped the sides of Emi's car and leaves tinged in early-autumn gold fluttered at her windows. One hand on the wheel and the other fumbling with a roadmap, she squinted at the dirt lane, then back at the squiggly map lines.


"Way to go, Emi." She blew air through her lips. "Lost." Abandoning the incomprehensible map, she focused on the tire tracks ahead. On either side, the trees pressed in close and cast a network of evening shadows over her '95 Dodge Spirit.


[Blood Rose, novella, complete]



***


Not in centuries had the mountains rung with such gladness.


Aleida tilted her face toward the sun and smiled. The road winding uphill was choked with people, nobles and countryfolk alike all traveling to the castle for the celebration. Their lively chatter echoed against the crags.
[The Brightest Thread, novella-turning-into-a-novel, my current WIP, unfinished]

15 comments :

  1. I love this so much! You're such a good writer, Tracey. I will do a post like this at some point (probably XD)
    thefloridsword.blogspot.com

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    1. Awww, why thank you! <3 That would be fun--you definitely should.

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  2. These are all wonderful snippets! But again, I think I liked the Glass Girl one best! Another favourite is the one with Pheori and the Emperor Cho. I hope to hear more about that story sometime.

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    1. Thanks, Blue! ^_^ Maybe I'll have to resurrect the Glass Girl story one day... Haha, the one about Pheori was the beginnings of a high school creative writing project that I... *whispers* never finished. XD

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  3. You have such a beautiful writing style. It's very easy to read, and it feels very relaxed. I think I liked the one with the knitted python the best.

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    1. That's such a compliment, Abbey--thank you!! The knitted python thingamajig was a random snippet I wrote in third person, second person (that was weird), and first person. Just playing around with POVs. :)

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  4. You make me so curious about your stories!! I actually recognize that first writing exercise from Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine. Is that where you got it? :)
    I LOVE that first one from The Fortress of Eternal Winter!! Sounds SUPER interesting! ^_^

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    1. That's what I was thinking about that writing exercise! I recognized it too!

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    2. Yay, I'm happy to hear that! You're both right, I DID get that one from Writing Magic. :D I used a few of her writing exercises years ago. Do either of you guys follow her blog?

      Thank you! I've been considering posting that one... it's something pretty different than what I normally write. ;)

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    1. *blushes* And you're a brilliant encourager!

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  6. EXCUSE ME WHILE I FLAIL FOR A THOUSAND YEARS. BECAUSE MORE TRACEY WRITIIIIIIING!!!!!! Every time you share snippets, it's like someone is handing me a plate of my favorite cookies. I'm literally addicted to your writing. I just want to drown in all the beauty!

    I loved all these so much! It seemed like they each had this...summery or wintery happy feel to them. They brought on this feel of happy summer days, or enchanting snow falls. I don't know! Your words produced aesthetically pleasing images to my brain! I LOVE when stories do that.

    The one green eye and one brown eye one totally fascinated me. Like...I WANT TO KNOW MORE. *flails*

    Then the one after that, with Arctic making snowfall in her room or something...? THAT SOUNDS SO FUN.

    It was so exciting seeing the beginning of The Prophet's Key (except poor Josiah! D:) and The Glass Girl. And getting the nostalgic thrill of reading the beginnings of Blood Rose and The Brightest Thread! I LOVE/MISS ALL THOSE CHARRIES SO MUCH.

    I just...your writing, Tracey. YOUR WRITING. SO MUCH BEAUTY. <33333

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    1. I IS A HAPPY BUBBLE OF SUNSHINE. <3333 It's like your favorite cookies? I have no words. That's just the sweetest (no pun intended) thing to say! *hugs you forever*

      But Christine, that imagery! I love it! Thank you so much! Come to think of it, I guess a number of those snippets DID allude to summer and winter... #coincidence

      LOL, so do I, because I never finished that one! XD

      The Arctic one was something about fairies (admittedly verrrry much like the Pixie Hollow ones)... I was doing a writing exercise where you're supposed to write a page of the beginning of a story, and then try writing a page that begins at a different point.

      Aww, thank yooouuuuu! (Poor Josiah has a lot worse coming his way... *sniffle*) GAH, MISSING CHARRIES IS LIKE THE HIGHEST COMPLIMENT EVER, SO THANK YOU AGAIN. I feel like a broken record, saying thank you every other word. XD You're so uplifting, girl!

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  7. Wow. I was going to choose a favorite, but as I kept reading, I couldn't decide! You have such excellent first lines, and your imagery is well-written too. It wasn't until more recently that I've attempted to work on strong first paragraphs; so if I did something like this, it would be rather embarrassing.

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    1. Aww, really? Thank you! ^___^ Strong openings definitely take practice, and I usually rework mine multiple times before I'm happy with them. (For instance, the beginning of The Prophet's Key is so not up to snuff yet...) There's no shame in recognizing an area where you want to grow! :)

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