2020 Writing Exercise Series #216: First Line Bonanza 8

The Notebooking Daily 2020 Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.

First Line Bonanza 8

For today's writing exercise write a piece that begins with one of the following first lines.

  1. The Corolla's interior was stuffed with books, trash and paint cans.
  2. We built a single sandcastle all day.
  3. We sat on the picnic tabletop and watched the sunset.
  4. When the screams would eventually come, no one would be within three miles.
  5. The head of lettuce rolled away from the scene as if it had agency of its own.


Bonus Exercise: You must include a quote (or part of one) from John Lewis either as an epigraph or in the piece somewhere.

If you'd like some background music to write to, try this Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt recording "Sonny Side Up" recorded in 1957.