Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I love good opening lines in a book or movie. It’s one of the big reasons I adore Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. So, I try to make each opening unique, starting with action. I thought today I’d post some opening lines from a few of my stories. Some are published, others are works in progress.

Slipping the Past: 

“Stuff this in your jacket.”

Jocelyn’s fingers closed before she realized what Nate crammed into her hand. She shoved the gun back at her brother. “I don’t want that and I’m not going in there to help you do whatever you’re planning to do with that thing.”

Bomb Voyage:

Sam. Any other Sam would be male and not a big pain in the ass. When Captain Jayson Rivers requested a mechanic, the Trios Mechanic’s Union told him they’d send the best. So naturally he hadn’t expected the red-headed solar storm and one-woman, wrecking-force with freckles sprinkled over a cute little button nose, who at this very moment, diligently worked on dismantling his ship, making a much needed hot shower impossible.

Blown Away/ Happy Trails:

Happy trail: That sexy little strip of hair that runs from a man’s belly button to his—towel. Jenna stared at the fluffy white barrier that blocked her gaze from traveling any further south. She’d enjoyed the scenic route, visually devoured the hard ridges of his six pack abs and the way the water trickled over his flesh while it took the path of least resistance. She knew she shouldn’t stare. It was inappropriate to ogle the higher-ranking beefcake, but she couldn’t stop. What woman in her right mind would be able to?

Collateral Lives: 

“Sergeant Devoe, you have been accused of abandoning your military post, grand theft of a star-cruiser, armed robbery, the unlawful release of indentured servants, theft of a valuable animal, and assaulting your commanding officer with a…” The judge narrowed his eyes and squinted at the holo-screen on his desk. He lifted his gaze and motioned for the officer on his right to come closer. The man leaned over and the judge pointed at the screen.

The officer looked up and smirked. “Poodle, sir.”


“Small, fluffy, canine from Earth. Supposed to be hypoallergenic.”

The judge cleared his throat. “And assault with a poodle.”

One Shot:

“Let me borrow your friend. I’ll show you how real soldiers do their shots.”

I snorted. Something about a woman entering a testosterone saturated environment, i.e. the on-post watering hole, tended to raise the hackles of the local males who felt the need to prove they had a set between their legs, to said opposite sex, in this case, Smitty and I.

I shook my head. Just add alcohol and the chest-thumping amplified. I lifted my drink in salute.  By all means, let the pec-pounding commence. I tipped back my drink and drained it.


A loud explosion rocked the tower. Yanked out of her daydream, Zoë’s eyes snapped open and scanned the horizon for the source. More than likely, it came from the mines that honeycombed the subterranean crust of Qoutixi, so common they were like a lullaby to the children.

Every day the explosions spewed toxins into the air and sent men to their graves in the hundreds. Working below was the final destination for many. Though the blasts were constant, she’d never gotten used them as had the indigenous people, who didn’t seem to notice the constant barrage, even when the explosions heralded death like an angel’s trumpet.

The wail of sirens filled the night. Those were new. She leaned forward and narrowed her eyes to study the skyline. The thick haze that wrapped the countryside danced and twisted before her. Dark shapes began to emerge from the fog. A green ball of fire mushroomed over the horizon, backlighting the silhouettes of ships that streaked toward the city and the embassy where she sat.

Cinderella Wore Combat Boots:

"Retirement? You can’t do that. I’ve got twenty-two years of my life wrapped up in the Marine Corps.” Cori closed her eyes and fought the pain. Semper Fi—always faithful—it didn’t mean much when you were a broken down, aging non-commissioned. Shit truly rolled downhill.

Captain Cutler leaned back on his desk and crossed his arms. “The doctors say your hip is as good as it’s going to get, Cori. You’ve got twenty-two good years in the Marine Corps. It’s either retirement or a medical discharge. Stop fighting it. There are no more options.”

This Endris Night:

The cold kissed Shiya’s cheeks as the sled raced through the night, gliding across the snow in the Alaskan wilderness. Yeah, she could have arrived like the other guests, by bush plane, but the siren’s call of the icy world had been great, and she needed access to the wilds to put her plan in motion.

It had been too long since she’d last come home. Northern lights danced across the horizon, playing off icicles that gleamed on bent pine boughs—nature’s Christmas trees. Overhead the stars glittered, something she’d rarely seen because of the city lights.

Something she’d missed.

 So, tell me how you like a story to open. What makes a great opener and what do you not like to see?
Thanks for stopping by.
D L  


Annie Nicholas said...

Assault with a poodle. LMAO.

Rebecca Royce said...

I always love how you write. Your opening lines are so vivid

D L Jackson said...

Thanks, ladies..
I have also employed garden gnomes and cinnamon bear candy as weapons. ;)