SciFi/Fantasy First Line Game

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

badducky

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Rules: Write one sentence that will grab your audience and propel them to the next whilst making this very, very obvious that we are reading a work of scifi or fantasy. Please, no run-on sentences or overly verbose adjectives.

a.k.a. "Grigor Samsa woke up to discover that he had turned into a cockroach."

My entry:

"When the aliens first landed, they traded apocalyptic bombs with Iceland for skrimshander carvings and wool."
 

ChunkyC

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Pfelp stuck a tentacle up his left nostril and bleemed at the expressions on the faces of his students as the tip appeared in his central earafice.
 

Vincent

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Without his trusty atomic blaster, Starman Hamil resorted to throwing unripe figs at the Xenaplorian horde.
 
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dclary

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There once was a man who lived his life as men live their lives, going daily to and fro from places he thought were important, without a single care or even the faintest hint that his planet and everyone on it had already triggered a time bomb that would destroy it, and everything else ever born or created in all the galaxy.
 

BardSkye

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"Eggshells," said Skreet, looking at the reptilian form in front of him, "you look great, honey."
 

Rabe

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What John remembered most about being dead was the odd yellowish quality of the light around him.

Rabe...
 

MattW

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I was close enough to see the look of surprise on Blackmane's face, and believe me, anything beyond hungry is difficult to recognize on a dragon.
 

greglondon

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I just submitted this to the "writing novels" forum under a thread titled "hook me with the first 20 words" (or something to that effect). It's not a single sentence, but it is 20 words.

The sonogram operator flipped a switch.
"And here's the baby's heartbeat..."
The sound of morse code filled the room.
S.O.S.
 
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dclary

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badducky said:
dclary, you forgot the rules: NO RUN-ON SENTENCES!

Euan H. is in the lead, methinks.

I'll try again later.

I hold that my sentence is just barely not a run-on. :(
 

Pthom

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I will agree with dclary, that the sentence just barely qualifies as a non-run-on sentence. But just.

Without all the modifiers, this is the sentence:
"A man lived without a hint that his planet had triggered a bomb that would destroy everything in the galaxy.​
But I like the extras. Now, am I hooked enough to read further?

Yeah. If there wasn't anything pressing on my schedule, I would.
 

Nangleator

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I had a plan to save my city; I'd hijack a UFO -- they had to be time machines with future humans at the controls; who else would be so interested in us?

(How's that for using punctuation to turn 3 sentences into 1?)
 

MattW

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Euan H. said:
I vote for MattW and rugcat so far.
Cool - thanks!

I thought yours wins for pure brevity.
 

Mac H.

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... ffo yap ot gnitrats yllanif si yportne esrever ot tnemirepxe ym kniht I :yraiD reaD
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"So if you accidentally park your ship on an event horizon", the Captain explained, "you'll find yourself stuck in a closed-time loop, so if you accidentally park your ship on an event horizon", the Captain explained, "you'll find yourself stuck in a ...."
 

ChunkyC

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I agree with Peter about dclary's line. Without the modifiers, the reveal at the end lacks punch. I think it needs that setup; that moment or two of introduction to the normalcy of his character's life before hitting us with the 'bomb', pun intended.

I can't pick a clear leader so far, but I quite dig Matt's and BardSkye's.
 

badducky

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"I went to the bar looking for other men like me, but I suspected something was wrong when the front door was only eight inches high."

Hey, what's with all this multiple voting!? Oh, well.
 

dclary

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As the sun rose over the yellow mucus cactus plants of Kelso Alpha IV, I adjusted myself and got ready to finish driving the sheffelherd into town.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away