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First lines meme

Ganked from forthrightly , although I'm not handling it the way she did. This made me put on my writing teacher's hat. So if you're not into analysis, you might like to skip this all together.

List the first lines of your last twenty stories. See if you find any patterns.

Kagome knew exactly how many steps it was from the stream to where she had her laundry tub sitting in the shade of the old oak tree.

It was that transition time between winter and spring.

She was standing along side of the swimming hole, letting the sun dry her hair when she saw it.

Outside the winds howled as the winter storm buffeted the little house, snuggled in a clearing in the forest about halfway between Kaede's village and their new home in the mountains.

The early morning light filtered through the high window of the bathing room.

It was a small voice, but clearly heard, even over the sounds of metal work.

Sunlight filtered into the room.

Kagome twirled the flower in her hand.

The youkai moved warily through the shadows, looking for his next victim.

His tongue traced the curve of her breast, drawing a warm line up to the rosy peak, then swirled around her nipple until his mouth closed over it.

“I am old in my sins,” said Mushin, throwing back another drink out of the jug.

He walked into the laundry room.

It was a beautiful afternoon, warm, almost hot, with no hint of rain.

Atae jumped up before Kagome sensed anything.

Midwinter days were just so short.

They stood there in the darkness.

The hoe lay on the ground next to the dark green leaves of the daikon plants.

The late afternoon sun filtered through the trees, dappling the clearing with shifting light as the breeze blew through the branches.

InuYasha stood on the rock edge, looking over the ravine below.

Yoshimatsu walked through the neglected garden on the temple grounds.


The dominant pattern is for sentences of subject- action verb without introductory phrases.

Longest sentence has 31 words. The shortest has 5.

5 of them start off with a named subject.

4 have unnamed people as subjects

5 use non-action verbs, (was, were)

7 involve naturalistic description, either of season or light or weather.

3 start with it.

1 subject is an inanimate object that is not weather or season or light related.

1 starts with dialogue.

5 involve Kagome, either mentioned by name or pronoun.

4 involve InuYasha, either mentioned by name or pronoun.

5 involve characters who are not InuYasha or Kagome.

2 involve OCs.

None start with a dependent clause.

I think it shows a nice mix myself. I'm not surprised at the naturalistic setting stuff. I'm kind of into that sort of thing.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
Annnnnnd if you avoid some Sesonal reference, you can build a new story with certain flow and sense. Actually, it can be read as a new one. :P (At least I tried to, and it worked!)
Jul. 30th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
I did something like that to a poem the other day. The original poem:

The Water Ghost

I stand beneath the deep blue waters
looking up,
the waters pulling at my hair,
my heart
caught in the rhythm of the tides.
for a moment before the flood washes
over me.

Here you are little more than a bright shadow,
O Sun,
Filtered by the flow of the waters,
a warm spot
that at times I reach out to find,
of that time before I tread the paths
of water.

Shall I remember the day long, long ago?
The sand
was warm beneath my dry feet in summer,
the waves
crashed along a beach that seemed to go on forever
and I
fell into the waters, pulled down by hands who never
let go.

Lost in the depth beneath the sea, they say
a castle rises,
Home of the Dragon King and his host beneath
the waves,
Where the maidens dressed in finery gracefully sway as
they serve –
Tales made by those who never have seen the darkness of
the abbysal plain.

But if you take the short lines, you get this poem (it wasn't planned; one of my readers noticed it)

Looking up,
my heart
over me --

O Sun!
A warm spot,
of water.

The sand,
the waves,
and I
let go.

A castle rises.
The waves,
they serve
the abbysal plain.

That was a surprise.
Jul. 30th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Nice. I like that you added your own analysis. I'm glad I'm not the only one that starts sentences with "It". I seem to do that alot.
Jul. 30th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
There are times that it is the right thing to say!
Jul. 30th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
I saw this elsewhere... now I want to do it!XD

I also like your mini poem within a poem!
Jul. 30th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
Very interesting - you know the lure of meta-analysis is what drew me in. I'd be curious to do this myself...though I kinda fear what the consequences might be, LOL!
Jul. 30th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
I was thinking, How would Luxken do this while I was doing it! LOL...
Jul. 30th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
LOL, well, I followed your lead! And was pleasantly surprised by the results, I must say...
Jul. 31st, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
This is a very interesting little exercise. Those first lines can really set the tone of a piece and the expectations of the reader. I think I've read most of these pieces and I can definitely see how the first line gives a feel for what is to come.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )