The Santa Barbara Writers Conference is holding this Best Openings Contest and there’s one day left to enter! Beginnings are so important, as any writer or reader knows. Dorothy Allison says this: “You’ve got to write a first line that will haunt you. It’s got to be magic.” The challenge is that magic is subjective.
I entered the following start:
We compare scars like war veterans; replay our history by the marks in our skin. At night, quietly so Mom can’t hear, we trace the raised flesh road maps of our lives and whisper our stories into the dark.
This came out of a scene I was trying to write for Hand Me Down that eventually turned into the car accident scene in chapter three, without this line. But I love the idea of Jaime and Liz comparing scars—the physical reminders of the traumas they’ve survived—so I would definitely like to use this later as an opening. The chances of winning this contest are small, but you can’t win if you don’t try, right?
What is your favorite opening that you’ve written? Why not send it along to this contest? It can’t hurt and you might get a sponsored trip to a great meeting place for writers! And/or feel free to post it here!