Creative Writing 101,  Excerpt,  Story Graveyard,  Story Vault,  Writing Journey

Opening Sentences for Uncompleted Projects

Fun fact: I used to have over 100 blog drafts. I eventually got it down to under 25, because some of them were just ideas. Others were full posts that were outdated because things had changed.

In any case, one of the posts to survive is the one I’m presenting today. A few years ago, to embarrass myself for my writing and blog anniversary, I shared the opening lines for some of my older projects.

In getting that post together, I had actually compiled the opening lines for every wannabe novel-length project I could find, finished or unfinished. For brevity, in that original post, I only included my favorites. I saved all my work though in case I wanted to post some of it later, like today. 🙂

For one reason or another, these stories never made it to the halfway point. Unless otherwise stated, these have contemporary/modern day or near-future settings. Also, the original typos and mistakes are all included. Haha. Enjoy. ^_^

Untitled Project (paranormal about witches maybe?)
“Kandace, you just don’t know how excited your grandmother will be when she sees you.” Mrs. Martin clasped her hands together and beamed at her daughter. “It really means a lot to her that you’re visiting.”
Kandace turned away from the window. “She lives in the middle or nowhere. What exactly am I supposed to do for the next three weeks!”

Just no.

Untitled Project (paranormal)
“Someone is following us.” Kristin stopped in her tracks and looked around the top floor off the mall. Her best friend Jennifer Brown laughed.
“Kristin, it’s just those little boys, and they’ve been doing that all day.”
“No, it’s not that,” Kristin said. “It’s something else.”

Ooh. Riveting. I remember that this was supposed to be a fictionalized version of my life, which is why I’m opening this story at the mall. LOL! I didn’t make it very far. Probably two handwritten pages. Ugh. Kill it.

Untitled Siren Project (historical/mythology)
Prologue – 1215
A beautiful, resonant, melancholy melody filled the sky. Captain Eaglehawk lifted his head and looked out over the sea.

Wow. (runs off and cries) There was no chapter one, by the way. Thank goodness. Points for the name Captain Eaglehawk though.

Untitled Witch Project (historical/paranormal)
Pagaille – Fall 1262
“Will it die?” an old woman asked fearfully as two soldiers dumped their last shovelful of dirt onto the coffin.
Lord Creig frowned and solomenly (sp. ch.) said, “I honest do not know the answer to that.”

I literally wrote “” above that word in the notebook. LOL! This is bad. I feel bad about myself now.

Chapter One
Pagaille – Summer 1753
Mishele Richards crept silently towards the cellar door, looking nervously over her shoulder. A rat ran suddenly into her path, and she jumped pressing a hand to her heart.

Wow, Krystal. Stop showing off!!! Pagaille is in France, FYI. This is either made up or a terrible misspelling of a place I heard or saw somewhere. I’m stealing that first name though! Love it! Also, points for overuse of adverbs.

“Sudden Vengeance” (sequel to “Sudden Fury” – vampires/paranormal)
Part One – Chapter One
Neco threw another rock into the polluted pond.
“Ten,” he muttered. He collapsed down into the muddy bank. Ten months and fifty-seven stuck-up witches later.

(sigh) This sequel never happened because book one sucked. Pun not intended. Or is it? 😉 But WHAT IS THIS ANYWAY?! (weeps) I actually liked the opening chapters. They’re from the antagonist’s POV. I got carried away. So much in fact that when our heroes show up in chapter 7, I quit shortly after because I wanted the whole story to be in this guy’s POV. The good guys weren’t as fun.

“Victory Will Be Mine” (video game style fantasy)
Left. Kaori raised up her sword and blocked his attack. He always went to the left side first. Loser.
She discarded her sword and pulled her knives out from inside her boots. This is too easy, she mused as she relieved him of his weapon and kicked him off the wooden stage.

Hey. Tis not too bad, right? LOL! There were too many moving parts in this story, and I got overwhelmed and quit, but the concept fascinated me. Still does. Wouldn’t this make a great movie?! You have so much to go on. 😛

“Beneath the Sands” (Book Two in the vampire series)
589 BC – Amoscavya, India
The night was dark, black. The air was cold, still. Alone at last, Siraj Ravi closed up his shop.

This honestly needed to be chapter one, but I LOVE Siraj. His name is Sanskrit for Light of the Sun or something like that, which is hilarious because he becomes a vampire later. Points for the kind of accurate-sounding made up ancient city. I modeled it after actual ancient Indian city names. I worked so hard on it! LOL!

Chapter One
Present Day – Morvincian Ruins, East India
The sand slips between Gavin’s fingers.
“He hasn’t been up here,” he says, straightening up.
Eve kicks at the sand, sending bits flying into the air. “He’s here. You’re not looking hard enough.”
Gavin sighs. “I’m doing the best I can.”
“I seriously hope you’re not.” Eve stalks across the barren desert to the tall industrial building.

I read through most of this chapter when I picked this up, and it’s actually not too bad. It’s amazing how good I thought this was in 2012 though. I kept finding places that are overwritten and chunky.

“Petra” (futuristic urban fantasy)
The room is thick with the smell of chrysanthemums. Her mother hated chrysanthemums. And she hated the color pink. It clashed horribly with the golden candlesticks strewn around the room like weeds. Why did that lazy good-for-nothing order pink chrysanthemums.
(change to first person)
He looks at me, pats my hand, and smiles.
I give him a tight-lipped smile in return and ball my hand into a fist. Gold-digger.

Omg, I love it! ^_^ But the reason I changed to first person is because I started slipping into first person accidentally. The main character demanded it! 😛 Also, I kicked myself so much for insisting on the flowers being chrysanthemums because I liked the way it sounded. Do you know how hard that is to spell? LOL!

Okay. I’m done. If anyone wants to share their old gems, please do! Let’s be awesome together. 😀


  • Thea Landen

    OOOH! I remember when a bunch of us did this a few years ago and it was hilarious and awesome and sometimes completely cringe-y. If memory serves, I even went as far back as some of my old fanfics that I wrote in college. Maybe I should revisit this sometime soon and see if I’ve gotten any better…or worse.

    I do like the opening of “Victory Will Be Mine” – sometimes I like just starting in the middle of the action and getting everyone up to speed later on.

  • Tonja Drecker

    Lol! Chrysanthemums is hard to spell. I think that would have been enough to make me switch flowers. But this was amazing! I love all the different story ideas you’ve been through. It’s very diverse and so many sound like they were fun ideas. I’m going to have to take a peek at my story graveyard and see what first lines died and were buried, never to rise again…or maybe? (Fun post!)

    • Krystal Jane

      Right?! Peek in that graveyard! 😀 All these old stories are so nostalgic. You know, I get onto myself for always doing the same thing, but there really is a lot of diversity in the old graveyard. 🙂

    • Krystal Jane

      Beneath the Sands has some of my most favorite people in it. ^_^ Sometimes I still think I could make it work. I also still remember the entire plot for Victory Will Be Mine, plot twists and everything!

  • Jodi Leigh

    “Someone is following us” is definitely my favorite beginning! Three seconds in and I’d be hard-pressed to put that book down. I really liked the “Sudden Vengeance” opener too. I thought that one was interesting and clever. Actually, most of these are pretty dang decent! Except for–no story should ever start with the word chrysanthemums. It’s cruel and unusual punishment to your readers. 😆Change it to orchids and you’ve got a winner.

    Fun post!

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