Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bad First Lines (Laura)

I was recently introduced to a humorous exercise that involves writing bad scenes. It can keep you mindful of habits to avoid in your writing, and it might also help you remember not to take things too seriously at times.

For the sake of brevity, instead of scenes let's have fun with some bad first lines. Here are a few examples:

     The night was as dark as a pool of spilled black ink and also as dark as
     charcoal. Darker actually. She couldn't see anything. Then the light was like
     the sun coming out on a clear day. One with no clouds at all. It was then
     that Herbertina realized the sun was out.

     The fourteen-year-old boy had almost reached the house that stood just past the town center. He could see it now, and it
     was close. It was on the corner, next to the coffee shop, the bakery, the grocery store, the library, the pet hotel, and the
     restaurant. The only restaurant in town actually.

     Inside the three-pound beige, tattered wicker basket full of eggs were a dozen orange and yellow, oval-shaped, speckled
     eggs with blue and turquoise spots and maroon stripes. The basket was awkward, cumbersome, and hard to carry along
     with the trombone and waffle iron, but the brunette, freckled teenager didn't mind.

     "FORE!" I exclaimed very loudly into the strong breeze that carried the shout even farther across the lake, where I had
     knocked the ball into a patch of trees that were as tall as mountains. Everyone wondered what team I was on.

What are some lines you can come up with? You could start by rewriting a sentence from your own work. It can be challenging at first to give yourself permission to write it badly, but it's fun once you get going. The more you overdo it, the more amusing it becomes.

Tip: Try doing this with a writing group and then have everyone read their bad lines or scenes out loud. It will make for a giggle fest.



Dark and Stormy Night:


  1. Wow, these are hilarious! I especially liked the last one.:)


  2. Haha, I love it! They were all great, but I think the first was my favorite :) All right, I'll give it a try with the opening of the new story I've been working on:

    "If only I didn't have to go home," I thought to myself for the fifth time that afternoon. I sighed heavily through my deep ruby lips, and brushed strands of glossy, black hair out of my face. This was my favorite place. Definitely my favorite place of all time. The breeze rustled the smooth, oval jade green leaves like a blowdryer as I rose to my feet, the tree bark rough and scratchy beneath the touch of my hand.

  3. Thanks, Brenna and Laurie!

    Laurie, very nice. ;-)


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