With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Help Me Pick the First Line to My Novel.

Nothing causes such conflicting emotion within my manly chest, like the realization that it is NaNoWriMo.

That's right. National Novel Writing Month.(The promoters of National Novel Writing Month thought an acronymn like NaNoWriMo would call forth the next generation of great wordifiers.)

I want to be a Novelist more than anything else.

So I am guessing maybe I should write a novel. When I reflect on men like Dan Brown I am inspired. I realize that it is fashionable in some circles to denigrate his achievements, but when I think of what he accomplished in spite of so many obstacles(When he started writing he was a peniless single father, barely able to put bread on the table; blind in the left eye; Severe Carpel Tunel; Illiteracy; Severe Hypertrichosis & C.)I think that if I try real hard I could write a novel too.

I know that a lot of other novelists started closer to November 1st but better late than never, right? I just need help getting started. I thought maybe if I got a first line that I was confident about I would be able to build on that victory. Here are some ideas:

1)I used to keep a journal, then I had a blog and now I am writing a novel.

2)I could barely hear the anguished cries of millions over the sounds of my breadmaker.

3)This is not one of those easy to read books that makes you feel better about yourself, so if that’s what you are looking for why don’t you just buy it and then give it away as a gift O.K,?

4)There was a touch of melancholy in Peter’s voice as he observed, “I didn’t think the world would end like that.”

5) Stop me if you have heard this one.

6)riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

7)"Sometimes it is lonely being a spy", John said, giving away his cover.

8) You can call me Al.

9)“Oh, I see” said Helen Keller.

10)How about we sing one more round of, “This is the song that never ends.”

11)This guy who insisted everyone call him ‘Al’ thought, “It is the best of times and the worst of times”--just seconds before an ice cream truck hit him.

12)I am knew to country and hoping to learn this English with the first novel of my writing----like you very much I am thinking!

On the other hand if you have a better idea, please let me know.

But I really should be getting started.


Christina said...

Oh god. It is NaNoWriMo. I meant to participate this year. I'll satisfy myself through living vicariously through your efforts.

My contribution:

"Jackrabbits are nature's piston-drivers, with hind legs capable of propelling the hare up to 22 feet forward in some circumstances. Surprisingly, no-one has ever thought to harness this sort of power for the benefit of humanity...until today."

Justin said...

Christina, Brilliant. The second line practically writes itself (My Jackrabbit powered breadmaker will certainly end world hunger--If I can only stop myself from making beer-rabbit-bread.)

Maybe we should collaborate. You could come up with sentences and I could. Transcribe them?

part-time buddha said...

I'm pretty sure #6 is taken, so stay away from that one. Though I like #4 quite a bit, I'll admit that #5 would keep me reading at least until the end of the second sentence.

If you want another suggestion: "Stately, plump, Justin Kahn came from the Penthouse, bearing a bowl of rat droppings on which a lightsabre and a window scraper lay crossed."

Comrade Kevin said...

I prefer choice number seven but you should change John's name to Raskolnikov.

My contribution:

On garret came an evening early in a man walked out of the July in which lodged in S. Place and slowly, exceptionally as though in hesitation, young hot towards K. bridge he.

(That may be very similar to the first line of Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky but I think I jumbled up the words enough that no one could possibly accuse you of plagiarism. You can't go wrong with a novel that sounds like a poorly translated Russian classic. Ask Don Brown.)

Justin said...

p-t b:

I wonder if I could just put the number of my final choice at the start of the novel. That would save me a lot of typing.

I guess our main disagrement is what part of Joyce to steal from. It is not an easy choice.

j-d k


Maleah said...

I really have nothing to say, I just wanted to be here "under" the Comrade. What can I say, I'm a slut. Hey, he's mentioned me twice in posts.

How about a trashy romance read... 'There she lay under the Comrade, breathless with desire, her chest heaving as he wispered the words she had longed to hear, "Yes, I'll wear the male dancer costume if it's what you really want me to do."

Justin said...

Comrade K:
Your suggestion is catchy.
One thing is for sure. No one would confuse me with Dostoevsky with that opener.

How is your novel coming this month?


nobody said...

Troy handled his impressive manhood in unbridled anticipation of the moment ahead as Mandarin opened her... okay got you interested, read on, i won't disappoint.

Finding Fair Hope said...

"Don't call me Ishmael. I hate when people do that."

goldennib said...

You are only about 21,000 words behind as of today, but since I am about 300 words ahead of schedule in my NaNoWriMo novel, I will gladdly give you an excellent opening:

The midget recited conceptual irony while seated atop an elephant and drinking coffee from a sailor's sneaker.

"Anon," he said, "reality is the yellow center of a daisy and the petals are my love life."

The elephant grabbed the midget by the ankle and bashed his brains out.

"No one messes with my flower," said the elephant.

Ok, Justin, run with it....

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. Have you ever considered beign paid to write? If you would like to, we have a lot of projects ready to go. Contact me at scotsd50@yahoo.com for more details.

goldennib said...

Look, Justin, a paying gig already.

Comrade Kevin said...

J. I should probably cut my Maleah posts down to 9 or 10 a week in order to squeek in a post updating my progress on my novel.

Anitsirhc said...

Ive always wanted to start a book of my own with "it was a dark and stormy night".
Im serious lol.

Jenn said...

I guess having too many first lines is better than having none at all.

But there's always more:

When Justin set off for Micronesia, he never expected it to be so small. The micro should have tipped him off.

Taihae said...

"Meanwhile...at the hall of Justice..."

Mind Curry said...

there are many possibilities:

"once upon a time..."

"and then there was light.."

"isnt it ironical.."

Mind Curry said...

p.s. can i be your manager?

Justin said...

Mind Curry, You can, but only for my boxing career. I don't want my art to become a business. j.

Justin said...

Yes, I have frequently thought about being paid for writing. Like every minute of my life. I also think about having people pick out the m&m's I don't like for my writing.

Justin said...

taihae,I can't get to the Hall of Justice--I have to write my novel. Can you cover for me? j.

Justin said...

jenn, I was thinking that micronesia would be saved for the end--like Paradiso in the Divine Comedy. j.

Taihae said...

sorry, love, can't...I relocated to the Hall of Doom last week. They have health AND dental, plus overtime. I'll put in a good word for you.

Justin said...

Well, I don't know if I want to switch jobs but it does give me a good idea.

Wouldn't "Meanwhile...at the Hall of Doom" be a great opening line for my novel?

Taihae said...

touche, salesman. you win THIS round.

goldennib said...

Comrade Kevin, isn't interesting that Justin is ignoring us? Why do you think that is?

Comrade Kevin said...

I don't know Goldennib. I've tried flashing a little skin to tempt him our way but it isn't working. I knew I should have waxed first...

Anonymous said...


p.s. how dare you refuse expired pumpkin bread?

p.p.s. i am anonymous because i forgot my password. oh well.

Anonymous said...

Did Yoda write #12?