Tuesday Toss-Up

April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words

keyboard blur

Great opening lines draw us in, making it impossible for us to turn away and great last lines linger long, long after we’ve read the end. Two of my favorite first and last lines come from Stephen King’s work.

“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”  The Gunslinger (1982). Ooh…I know I want to follow them both. Don’t you?

“lady fingers they taste like lady fingers.” Survivor Type (1982). That one even makes my husband shiver and he’s never read the story.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write either the opening or closing lines of a story. Start us off with a bang or leave us begging for more. As usual, any genre will do and the word count limit is 100.

Here’s how it all works:

  • Prompt: Create the first or last line of a story.
  • Genre: Anything goes. Mystery, Western, romance, historical fiction, alternate history, steam punk, science fiction, horror, fantasy, slip-stream, or whatever.
  • Word count: 100 words.
  • How to share: You can put it up on your blog and link here or (if you don’t have a blog) you can email (sonia DOT m DOT writes AT gmail DOT com) it to me and I’ll put it in a post for you.
  • Time limit: From now until the next challenge is posted in June.
  • Prizes: No…no prizes. Just the reward of a story well written.

There were some fabulous stories for the March Writing Challenge. I’ll be updating this post with links to them all shortly. In the mean time, cruise on over and read them here (in the comments).


I’ll posting over at the Life List Club tomorrow. Come on by and say hello.

Photo Credit
keyboard ~ blur by hobvias sudonelghm, on Flickr CC BY 2.0

45 thoughts on “April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words

  1. It’s even better when the first line is the last line, too, huh? I might give this a try. By the way, I love your new banner! Very creepy and wonderful.

  2. Can’t find your email so thought I’d post my opening here….
    I heaved the body of the fisherman out of the boat. The corpse lay upon the water, the blood seeping from the stab wound in the neck. The fishes he had hunted for so many years swam closer, scenting blood.

    1. Oooh. Yep, I’m definitely intrigued. Just what a first line should do.

      Sorry about the email. I’ve been posting these challenges for awhile and I plumb forgot about ever posting my addy. *blush* Will go correct it.

      1. Thanks very much, Sonia. I’ll check out the email and send you the opening lines. Isn’t the internet wonderful? I’m on the French Riviera and we can chat like this.

  3. The Gunslinger’s opening lines are my favorite as well. Any thoughts on King’s return to the Dark Tower saga?

    1. I have only read as far as the 4th novel. I meant to finish and got sidetracked somehow. Must amend that. I heard he published a revised version of the first novel. I’m a little apprehensive about picking it up since I liked the first so much. I’ll probably have to read them all through again and then check out the revised version.

      1. Besides the revised edition of the Gunslinger King is publishing a new Dark Tower novel titled, “The Wind in the Keyhole,” which takes place right between the 4th and 5th novels. I’m just wrapping up the forth one now, so I’m right there with you as far getting behind.

          1. I’ve been desperately trying to finish “The Wizard and the Glass” before the new one releases–thus far the nice weather has stood in defiance.

  4. I second Towsley. I assume the challenge is to write plural lines? 100 words is a long sentence! lol In any case, I wrote a single sentence, if that’s OK. 🙂

  5. Here’s my attempt:

    The horn sounded again. Its voice spread through the moonlit valley like a flood, almost shaking the pine branches with its power. The wolf howled. The horse screamed with its rider. The horn was held in the air, matching the crescent moon and casting its pall on the chief of the standing stones. A single blood-red rune appeared, and in that moment the truth was made known – the horn had uttered its last cry.

  6. I just found this challenge and figured I’d give it a shot since there’s no June challenge posted that I can find. So here goes:

    “Criss-cross applesauce” and “pretzel” – had nothing on Indian-style. It’s foreign. Yet, well, native.

    1. Eek! So sorry it took me so long to reply! THanks for joining. I like that line. 😀

      I have a summer challenge. I probably should go change it to “June-August Challenge” so it’s easier to find.

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