A Good - "Bad" - Opening

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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Cyia

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A couple of days ago, I did a blog post on the "don'ts" of openings. You know the "Don't: wake up, look in the mirror, start with dialogue, etc." stuff.

There are obviously people who have done all these things and lived to tell (and sell) the tale, which means that if done the right way, people will connect to and enjoy those openings.

So, here's the challenge: write a quick intro, using one of those verboten elements, but make it "good" or at least interesting. (Success at either is highly subjective.)

Here's mine --
It was death that finally woke Amy up.

"Five more minutes," she grumbled with a kick for good measure.

Kicking death is never a good idea.
 
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lucidzfl

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"I've got good news and I've got bad news," said Doctor Mewes as he approached a very nervous, very quickly pacing Jason Hart.

"What's the good news," asked Jason.

"Its a boy."

"That's wonderful," said Jason. He began to reach for the cigar in his coat breast pocket with a smile. "And the bad?"

"He ain't black."

Jason released the cigar, letting it slide back out of sight. "I see."


---

This was rubbish btw.
 

Sleepyhead

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Robin studied her cheekbone in the mirror. The swelling was getting worse; it might be time to see a doctor.

Jack was going to pay for this one. What kind of a moron did someone have to be to throw bar glasses across a ballroom, anyway?
 

gracemichael

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Andie woke up face to face with the rear-view mirror. The physical impossibility of her position flashed briefly through her mind. Panic overcame her when she heard a quiet, "Mommy, where are you" from the backseat.
 

Libbie

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On Tuesday morning, Patience looked into the mirror and realized she had no reflection.
 

maestrowork

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"You need a new face," my reflection said. Then he showed me his crooked yellow teeth littered with yesterday's crushed spinach.

I've had that dream for a bit over thirty-four years. It's time for me to do something about him today. I picked up the razor on the rim of the sink.
 
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cbenoi1

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"Goodbye handsome," he spoke to the face in the mirror.

He took his razor with a firm hand and with a few strokes, away came the beard and the mustache. He removed the wig next, exposing his short curly hair. Then the contact lenses were removed, revealing dark brown eyes. Like her mother's. If only she knew what her genius boy was up to.

-cb
 

NeuroFizz

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"Was that for real, or was I dreaming?" Herbie rolled on the bed and squinted into the antiqued mirror tiles that doubled as a headboard. He picked at the crust that circled his lips. "If it was a dream, this must be mine." He nudged the hard, round lump that sat covered by the satin sheet, just above a bare shoulder.

No response.

He nudged the lump again and it rolled off of the bed and onto the carpet with a muffled whump. He patted the bloodless satin.

"Nope."

Herbie licked his lips. "Wasn't a dream."
 

kuwisdelu

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"No, no you don't understand: the mirror is looking at me."
"..."
"No, my—my face is moving. In it. But—but it's not mine. It's the mirror. It's like—"
"..."
"No, no, I'm not dreaming this! I swear, my eyes look a different fucking color even. Not dim blue like they usually...but all bloodshot and...."
"..."
"I just woke up this way! I rolled out of bed and felt...dangerous... I felt like an angry violin."
 

FJAR0009

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A long, dark line of rust ran down the side of the mirror, blurring Dante's reflection. Shocked, he raised a hand and pressed his finger lightly against it. The rust had not been there yesterday - and the mirror was new.
 

Caitlin Black

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Sarah looked into the mirror and started pulling faces. The people who owned the faces she was pulling were getting sore with all the strain, and they didn't look happy. But this was just Sarah's way.
 

kaitie

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I felt like I was in that episode of The Twilight Zone where the girl has her face wrapped in bandages, and at the end when they're finally unwound and she gets to look at herself it turns out she's really beautiful. The twist ending, an instant classic. As I held the mirror in my hand, the same sort of old-fashioned hand-held mirror with a cheap plastic casing, I felt the same trepidation she must have felt, but doubted I would be quite so lucky. And the truth is in real life it doesn't matter how beautiful you might turn out, waking up with a new face is always terrifying. For the past month it's been the same thing, each morning the same apprehension. That poor damned mirror was getting a workout.

I finally worked up the courage and looked into my own eyes, or what I suppose were now my own eyes, to see what I'd become.

Alright, so I'm not sure that qualifies as good per se lol...;) I'll try to think of another one for later because this is fun.
 

Cyia

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Octavius woke and went straight to the bathroom mirror to check his reflection and see if anything had changed.

Nope. Still a vampire.

He shattered the empty glass with one blow and grabbed his coat to go out and buy another.

375 years worth of nights and counting... and he still believed one night he'd wake to see the face he foolish enough to despise as a mortal. He just had to find the right mirror.
 

maxmordon

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I hate him. I hate seeing his sleepy eyes behind those browline glasses, his small unexpressive mouth, his tall pale figure; you could see this man walking down the street with his cheap suit and briefcase looking down and know this is a man that gave up in his life.
But what I hate the most is that I have to see him every day in the mirror.

A discarded intro for my WIP.
 

BrooklynLee

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She roused herself, finally, and groped her way towards the bathroom. Pulling herself upright, she gripped the edge of the sink and tried as hard as she could to make her eyes focus on her reflection, but it was no use.
 

PoppysInARow

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When Olivia woke, she resisted opening her eyes until she couldn't feign sleep any longer. She opened her eyes, and there he was. Jake's claws were still dug into the ceiling, his head spun all the way around and watching her with a smile filled with sharp, jagged fangs.

When he saw she was awake, he opened mouth and gave a shrieking, clicking sound. It should have been terrifying, but after ten years it had become as monotonous as an alarm clock.

It was just another day in Hell.
 

Caitlin Black

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When Olivia woke, she resisted opening her eyes until she couldn't feign sleep any longer. She opened her eyes, and there he was. Jake's claws were still dug into the ceiling, his head spun all the way around and watching her with a smile filled with sharp, jagged fangs.

When he saw she was awake, he opened mouth and gave a shrieking, clicking sound. It should have been terrifying, but after ten years it had become as monotonous as an alarm clock.

It was just another day in Hell.

I'd read that.
 

kaitie

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"Look at me," he said.

She pressed her eyes shut and his grip on her shoulders tightened.

"Look at me," he said again.

She was crying now, felt the heat of tears on her cheeks. He squeezed, fingers less like fingers more like talons, and she imagined it was a hawk holding her down instead.

"Look. At. Me."

Mumbling now, little kitten-like mumbles between clenched teeth, not quite words. She didn't want to look. She knew what she'd see, her own face in the mirrored reflection of his glasses, the tracks in the dirt left by the tears, fear. But he was squeezing her, shaking until her neck ached and her head pounded. His fingers drove through her skin. His thumbs pressed against her clavicles and threatened to see just how much pressure it really took to break.

"Look at me," he said.

She opened her eyes.
 

Exir

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You're dreaming, said Ashlen's shadow.
 

Xelebes

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"Hot damn, I'm ravishing!" I said to myself in the mirror, fresh awake. This is how I woke up every damn day. And, damn it, I ought to.

Mm... don't know.
 

Oberon89

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Nick awoke from the dream of good cheese and better wine and admired himself in the ceiling mirror.

The naked woman draped in red satin drooled quietly on her pillow. She was soft and pretty and the worst pickpocket he had ever met. He'd caught her trying to snitch his wallet in the piazza, but she'd apologized so charmingly that he forgot to call the policia. He'd bought her lunch, and then they'd returned to his flat above the old cafe and made love like otters in the spring. He couldn't remember her name.

Nick knew that names mattered. At night in the rain he had done terrible things with names.

But that was in another country. And besides, the witch was dead.
 

triceretops

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All three in the same scene?


She woke up and staggered to the mirror in the bathroom. All her teeth were there--no cigg burns, no black eyes. "What the fugg did I do last night?" She grimaced.

Her reflection didn't grimace back.

"OMG, I'm losing my mind!"

"No, you're losing your license for driving drunk," said her identical twin. "Now will you get out of the bathroom so I can pee in peace."

"Guh."
 

kaitie

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All three in the same scene?


She woke up and staggered to the mirror in the bathroom. All her teeth were there--no cigg burns, no black eyes. "What the fugg did I do last night?" She grimaced.

Her reflection didn't grimace back.

"OMG, I'm losing my mind!"

"No, you're losing your license for driving drunk," said her identical twin. "Now will you get out of the bathroom so I can pee in peace."

"Guh."

LOL!
 

Bluegate

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What is this? Some kind of stalker question?
“Son of a bitch!” Sarah thought Jon’s voice had an odd tinny quality. “Having a bad day? Sounds like somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed?” “Hell yeah, I’m having a bad day. And no, I did not wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I woke up on the wrong side of the frigging mirror. Now bring me the damn phone. I’m going to be late.”
 
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