First lines of novels I’ll never write.

25 Mar

It was him, just him, and a city of eight million, so he stood there, alone, terrified, but armed with an accurate slingshot.

This is a love story at whose end someone dies expectedly.

He stood against the pole as though Donatello himself had carved him from the crude metal of the E-train revealing the full flower of his Quattrocento beauty, his arms behind his back, at ease, but ill at ease his eyes, locked on the nothing ahead of him and belying a sadness that was so full and furious it was untouchable, when his mother called out “Rodrigo” and through the train doors he went, he and his universe of gravity.

Having never particularly distinguished himself, this dull but dedicated man purchased a small patch of land, farmed it meticulously, and spent the dusk of his days out standing in his field.

To pass him on the street you might think to yourself, “That is someone I passed on the street,” had you been paying that much attention.

Flying pigs waged a snowball fight in hell, that week of three Thursdays when toothed chickens saw the sun rise in the West, hairy frogs ate grapes from the willow tree and crows were spotted and spotted flying upside down in the Year of Never and the Month of When that particular Week and Month and Year an endlessly enigmatic Teresa Taurus opened her home to a cat.

What would the next hours portend, he wondered, weary and at dawn, having just decided that this would indeed be the day when he least expected it.

Dressed in New Yorker blacks, he waited for his friend in the Galaxy Diner beneath a photograph of Jupiter, hoping that the juxtaposition of his frame against the gas giant might have a further slimming effect.

Remind me someday, should I complain, that this moment, the air thick with impending storm, is as quiet as I’ve ever not heard, here in my little apartment above the corner of the center of the world.


15 Responses to “First lines of novels I’ll never write.”

  1. Montserrat Mendez March 25, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    I feel like everyone of those opening lines could fit well into a “He’s a vampire!” sorta novel.

    • NC Coot March 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

      LOL! Just type the word, “Thirsty,” at the beginning of each sentence.

  2. Dugutigui March 26, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    An extremely creative opening, in which even understanding the words it leaves me in stand by and completely dislocated longing for a continuity to find out what the question thread could be…
    I know you are able to maintain this level of complex creativity for 500 pages, but it is clear that this starting is not for simple minds … and whether you relax the descriptive tension in the following chapters, your most demanding readers probably would feel cheated… so to say the least a wonderful writing exercise … with a complicated continuity.

    • NC Coot March 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      I’m not sure I could keep that up for 500 pages, D. I can’t seem to keep anything going for more than twelve paragraphs. But I appreciate your encouragement and will use that and this blog to start stretching. Thank you, as ever, for such a dense analysis.

  3. myfatherson March 27, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    You broke my mind. It was my own fault. I was halfway through the page before I realized it wasn’t one long paragraph beginning the most profoundly deep and mysterious novel ever written. James Joyce on LSD. It had that sort of intense, disturbing logic which itches at our minds as we race along familiar never before traveled roads in our dreams, perfectly absurd, perfectly sensible, until we wake up. The last sentence is a sublime first sentence. I saw/heard a huge rumble of thunder and lightning, simultaneously occur signifying the storm is here.

    • NC Coot March 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      There’s an idea! Rearrange all that into the first paragraph of a novel I’ll never write.

      I’m happy to be following you now!

  4. topiclessbar March 27, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Coot! I Blog Tagged you! This may cause you to be angry with me…just ignore it if you want. Anyways, here’s the post where you were tagged:

    • NC Coot March 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

      This is very kind of you. And your questions are hysterical. I’ll do my best to comply. 🙂

  5. Joe Pineda March 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Excellent use of words in most if not all of these first lines. If you’re good at nailing these and turn it into a skill, you’re guaranteed to have the ability to hook your headers into reading further. If you’re not exciting or clever enough, they won’t get past your first sentence, but I don’t see that here.

    You could even try to use it to spice up your blog posts! Try using various hooks using the More button for your posts. That way you leave readers hanging and eager to read further when they browse through your main page.

    • NC Coot March 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

      Thanks, Joe! It is a good exercise. Like a pop song, a blog, out of the millions out there, only has seconds to grab and I’m learning that as I start this process. I think once one has a following, one has the grace period to delight.

      • Joe Pineda March 27, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

        It’s why most of my first lines in posts are nonsensical, quasi-beat poetry.

      • NC Coot March 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

        THAT was a genius way to get me to look at your posts. Yes! You DO do that. Well done, Joe.

  6. Miss Dilly March 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    “This is a love story at whose end someone dies expectantly.”
    I think that would be an excellent book. Please write stories to them all!

    • NC Coot April 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      What a thoughtful note, thank you! I WILL try and flesh some of these out for a longer read, thanks to your encouragement. I’m glad to be following you now!

      • Miss Dilly April 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

        I do think you might have a winner in there. Thank you for the follow! I am looking forward to your new posts as well

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