Opening lines do important work in storytelling. When you reach the end of a story, an opening line may read completely different than it did when you began, because the story has changed its meaning. An opening line may be a hook, a light in the darkness, a way forward.
I try to take a picture of the eerie. (The Passenger, Emily Lundgren)
She came out of the peat like a sixpence in a barmbrack, her face shining like wet iron between the spade-edge and the turf, the bright rusty plait of her hair broken like a birth-cord around her neck. (The Creeping Influences, Sonya Taaffe)
He descended on the town like a saint sent from Dark Heaven six-guns shining like twin torches in his hands, down to the border where we had our battle on. (Salamander Six-Guns, Martin Cahill)
It’s Midsummer’s Eve, and even this close to midnight there’s no darkness, only a long, translucent dusk that will eventually slip into dawn. (Hare’s Breath, Maria Haskins)
As part of our final issue ever (!), we solicited some authors who were there in the beginning. Mary Robinette Kowal was Shimmer‘s art director when the magazine started, and though she’s gone on to much greener pastures (her science fiction debut,The Calculating Stars, came out just last week!), she also published with Shimmer last year.
We invited Mary to be part of the final Shimmer and she suggested we turn part of her story over to you, the readers.
Comment on this post with a killer opening line to a story you’d like Mary to write. Beth and I will go over all the entries, and pick a winner, which Mary will then write a story for.
Comments open until JULY 20. Beth and I will vote that weekend, and announce a winner on JULY 23.
And in November, you can read Mary’s story in the final issue of Shimmer!
Note: Many of you are submitting whole paragraphs and not a single opening line. We are not approving these. Thank you!