Story Starters

There are already several story element randomizers out there. The starters you’ll find here are actual starts–first lines–for stories. They’re leftovers from writing exercises, flashes of brilliance that burned out too quickly, and vague ideas with nowhere to go–for someone. But one writer’s idea trash is another writer’s treasure!

So use ‘em, change ‘em, do what you want; they’re yours for the taking. Have fun! If you do actually turn one of these into a story, we’d love to hear about it! We’ll be adding more every month, so…

Got leftovers you’d like to add to the recycling pile? Now it’s as easy as adding them in a comment at the bottom of the page. Send ‘em along!

“She began drawing to calm her nerves, but the lines laid down like a child’s scribbles. Her hand was too trembly.” –M.A.

“The newspaper had been on the doorstep so long it was yellow and wrinkled. Not a good sign.” –T.E.

“Icy blue eyes stared out at me, unblinking. There was an awful silence, broken only by my heavy breathing. Please, please let me through, I thought as hard as I could. Where else could I go?” –A.L.

“The wind was howling like a wounded animal, but I knew I had to go out in it. I had to find her.” –T.E.

“He hadn’t meant for it to happen. It just did. I mean, who knew the little girl with the red hair would be there that day. All he did was walk to the park. And guess what happened?” –M.T.S.

“We won. That’s the sort of thing you’d expect to hear at the end of a story. You can stop reading now if you wish, because you already know how this tale will end. How we won, now that makes a rather interesting story….” –S.

“I wasn’t in love with him. Not in the normal way, at least…” –S.R.

“She walked out of the forest as if it had a door she could lock behind her.” –W.S.

“Can you see?”
“How the smoke rises from his pipe” –M.F.

“Bernadette soiled herself as she…” –C.J.C.

“The room was so full of plants…” –C.J.C.

“The line of code on the screen made no sense at all, until I realized…” –L.W.

“Everyone knew that the thing was a menace…” –E.E.W.

“There’s a rabbit outside, drawing a pentacle and looking pissed.”
“A…rabbit? Where’s Boopsie?”
“Dunno. Just this large black bunny…and he has a cigar in his mouth. Wasn’t there a minute ago, either.” –M.J.

“To have been distracted to such a degree that one no longer notices that one’s mind has strayed from what once was. By then, perhaps, life has become only what one has been distracted by, only to be distracted again. Life?” –Marion S. Turner

“There’s never been a decision that was so easy to make.” –S

“You see that girl over there? Lively red hair, red boots? She thinks she’s going to a job interview in Lompoc, California. Now, if she hadn’t crashed her car yesterday in San Diego, she wouldn’t now be about to realize that she is waiting in line to board the bus to San Francisco!” –DM

“I miss having family around. Being betrayed by strangers isn’t nearly as gratifying.” –DJJ

“How can you say that I am evil? To be evil, musn’t you know evil yourself?” –LML

“I was often told that red hair was a sign of bad temper, and that green eyes were a sign of evil.” –MM

“It’s up to you,” he said, putting his suitcase down on the doorstep. “Am I coming or going?” –MPM

“I was the last one over the side–as usual.” –SDR

“If the stain on the carpet wasn’t blood, I was betting dollars to dimes it wasn’t red paint, either.” –E.M.

“The windows in the room were so full of plants it was a wonder any light filtered through at all. The old lady looked like she hadn’t seen the sun in decades.” –M.M.

“Now that I am once again a speck of dust…” –JJ

“They say that smoking can kill you…but when killing is your job, you don’t give a damn about that.” –VTQ

“There were only a few smells that Beatrice detested more than the stench of rotten eggs, but all of them were wafting out of the garbage bag that Rick had forgotten to take out–again.” –K.M.K.

“A single mauve petunia still bloomed courageously in the dried-out planter. But how long before it succumbed to the drought like everything else?” — E.P.

“Bob kicked at the rain-slicked, flattened tire bitterly. Oh, he was jinxed, all right, and in more ways than one.” — P.N.

“Gilly was certain of one thing- she did not want to do what was expected of her by all of them. They were insane, not her. The world was insane, the entire world.” — L.M.

“It didn’t matter now who was right or wrong. If I could live through the night, the war might end tomorrow.” — S.M.

“Ironically, anarchist groups where the only ones not fighting.” — B.B.

“I stood alone on the red clay, watching my shadow stretch out long and thin before me.” –S.R.

“No one knew where he came from, but when he showed up on Joanna’s door…” — R.C.

“It was Thursday, the same day the snow storm finally burned out, that Edna sorted through her unread mail, knocked over a stack of yellowed newspapers, and tried to suicide with an overdose of children’s aspirin.” — P.M.

“Pixies everywhere, and me without my silly string!” — R.S.

“So maybe he didn’t weigh quite 400 hundred pounds; he swore he’d never sent the scale over 300, and with that face, you had to believe him.”

“The yellow plastic floatation duck was still inflated, beak curved in a happy smile, oblivious to the skeletal form it supported in the water.”

“When I opened the door, I was confused for a moment to think that Halloween had come in mid-April.”

“The bank heist was going down the tubes unless I got into that chicken suit. Fast.”

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