We all know the importance of first lines in novels. For many of us, myself included, everything we subsequently write is inspired by that first line – the characters, the plot, the eventual resolution – in fact, the whole shape of our story. So Jenny’s workshop was especially interesting. She chose twelve famous first lines, and asked us to write our own story from one of them.
Most of us avoided the ones that were from novels we immediately identified, as having too large an influence on our imagination, and some of us cheated and put the first line at the end of our own offering, but the results were typically imaginative and diverse. Of course!
We began with a canine adventurer with a penchant for rolling in unacceptable substances ( dog owners will have no problem interpreting that somewhat cryptic description ) , followed by a chap made invisible by his job, hairy men made even hairier by a herbal after-shave, a grandmother mistaking a hand-grenade for a turnip, an essay on misery, a philosophical musing on whether the moon is really made from cream cheese, – and those were just for starters.
Then there was a delightful story of romantic yearning with a twist in the tale, a hairy monster, a family quarrel culminating in a certain baby being named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana (no prizes for identifying that child), a reminiscence about a childhood bath time and some wicked practical jokes. And two poems by a couple of poets who specialise in doggerel! And, of course, many more, tho I can hardly not mention Lady Godiva riding round the walls of Manderley – or can I?!
An inspired and inspiring workshop. Thanks, Jenny. Reading week next week, and the optional theme is What if…
See you there. Sally