Okay – stole this meme from many people. You’re supposed to grab the first line of the last 20 fics you’ve written, look for patterns, and expound on what you think those patterns say about you as a writer.
I’m cheating a little; I have only 31 stories on LJ, all Supernatural, so I thought I’d take a look at the opening lines of all 31. I was also curious to see if there was a difference between the most recent 20 stories, all of which are 100-word drabbles, and most of the earlier ones, which were longer.
This begins from the most recent story and goes back in time to the very first.
3. He opened the trunk on a sudden flashback fully as powerful as his occasional unexpected, disturbingly vivid memories of ‘Nam.
11. “Are you nuts?”
13. Once upon a time he’d looked into the trunk and seen nothing but a spare tire, a litter of crushed cups, a handful of magazines, a couple of stray CDs, a flashlight, and a few rags and tools.
14. She looked like he felt: warped where she wasn’t outright smashed, sagging on broken axles, bristling with unexpected sharp edges of shattered glass and steel, bled out of water, oil, and transmission fluid.
16. He’d lost track of the towns across the years; the towns, the cheap motels, the trailer parks, the vacant homes, the diners, the quickie marts, the gas stations, the libraries, the bars.
18. He’d become so accustomed to compensating for things being unbalanced that the return to what should have been normality left him uncertain, like a healed limb freed from a heavy cast but still expecting the weight.
22. He squeezed the excess water out of the sponge with shaking hands and started at his brother’s neck and shoulders, slowly washing away the dark, dried blood.
Aaaand, the analysis:
Numbers 22, 26, and 28-30 all came from stories of various lengths; all the others came from strict 100-word drabbles. From what I can tell, there’s no difference in the openers that connects to the length of the story, although most of the longer openings came in the drabbles, where they set a somewhat melancholy tone.
My opening hooks tend to be short. I often open with dialogue, usually in the middle of an already ongoing conversation or action. Even where the opening is not dialogue or internal thought, it’s most often something already in progress. My point of view is most often from within one character, and my opening lines often take the reader into the mind of that character. I write in past tense, not present. I get artsy with italics to set things off or establish emphasis. I don’t always begin with a full sentence. My descriptions are often sensory. My characters are often aware of themselves and are actively considering how they feel; I’m writing from a psychological and emotional perspective.
And I’m going to pull my viewpoint out of my own navel, now. If folk discern other patterns and things they say about me as a writer, I’d be curious to hear!
ETA: Apologies if your flist got the whole huge thing; for some weird reason, my LJ cut wasn't working. I had to take out the code and start over manually ...