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112354 No. 112354
#Discussion #Openings
A strong opening is arguably the most important part of a story, so in this thread we post opening lines and paragraphs. They can be as long or as short as you want, and they can be from fics you're writing, random openings you think of, cool openings you've found, whatever. You can post to get feedback, show off, discuss writing good openings, and so forth.
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>> No. 112364
I had to do this.

It was a bright, sunny day in Ponyville.
>> No. 112367
>>112364
Amateur.

As Luna's moon gave way to Celestia's sun, whose rays basked the library-cum-house-tree of the local, purple librarian unicorn, the clouds, which flowed slowly like white looking leaves in an ever cyan sea, a hobbit woke up.
>> No. 112369
Heh. Cool thread. I feel like showing off at the moment, so here goes.

==

When the little ponies who live in this town want to scare each other, we tell the story of the Crying Wolf.

Long ago she was an ordinary timberwolf who lived with her cubs. It had been raining all day and their den stunk of damp lumber and frustration, but the sun finally came out that late summer afternoon. The forest filled with golden evening light that beckoned from the mouth of their home.

==

At the very least, one story likes me. She's my little sister, a cute story about a baby dragon and three magical fillies who kidnap him and make him play tea party. She's a lot of fun and she's family friendly, everything I'm not.

It's not fair how much I overshadow her. She desrves at least half the attention I get, at the very least! And somehow she doesn't hold it against me. “Sissy,” she says, “I wanna be a mature fic like you.”

“No, ‘Sitch',’ I tell her as gently as I can, “you really don't. Please trust me.”

==

Okay, when I finish writing this, I'm either going to hold on to it forever, or immediately fire off a spell and reduce it to a glowing pile of ash. Mostly, I'm writing this because I find moving a quill over the page helps me figure out what I'm thinking and feeling, and, boy do I need that right now. It's only been... thirty-six? forty-eight hours? since everything started, and even though there isn't some disaster happening outside in Ponyville, I almost wish there was. That, at least, I know how to handle.

I should start this story to myself with the first thing to go wrong. In this case it was probably speaking to Rainbow Dash. I had just left Rarity's boutique - she was busy with customers, but we made a late lunch date - when I spotted a cloud hanging just above the thached roof across the street. The sky was clear except for that one cloud, and the unmistakable six-colored tail of Rainbow Dash hanging over the side.

Rarity was busy. Applejack was out of town at the farm, so I planned to save her for the end of the day. Fluttershy, likewise, would require a long walk - and while I have learned to expect the unexpected from her, I wasn't really looking forward to trying to read between the blushing, hesitation, and shocked silence my questions would almost certainly inspire.

==


For six days at the close of each summer, Ponyville became a much larger place. In a field just outside town, ponies drove stakes in the ground, strung lights, pulled tent-ropes taught, unloaded wagons, and built stages. Unicorn horns glowed as they brought amusment rides to life, and overhead, pegasi crafted racetracks and stunt courses from the clouds.

Morning found the lead forepony sipping an orange juice as the aroma of coffee and nutmeg drifted through the temporary city his crew had completed overnight. He looked up to the pennents and pastel tent peaks now kissed by the dawn for a final time, checked his watch, and opened the gates.

The Ponyville Fair had begun.

==

Rainbow Dash dreamed the essence of roast hazlenut and woke, her hooves searching the sheets for a pony who wasn't there. Sunlight infiltrated the room through yellow curtains, illuminating a watercolor of a flower, red and orange, that hung on one wall. Below it, spare kennels for small animals were stacked neatly.

Dash blinked. Hers wasn't a bad dream at all, just... unusual. Her fantasies tended to be more abstract and bizzare. A night with Fluttershy was awkwardly specific - she'd definitely be keeping it to herself - but as long as she woke in her cloud bed with her Wonderbolts poster on the wall--

She pushed herself into a half-sit, a heavy quilt sliding down her wing to rest atop her prone quarters, and reexamined her surroundings: Quilt. Empty, spare cages. White-and-green wallpaper. Fluttershy's house.

==

Now the only trouble is maintaining enough self-confidence to actually finish a story...
>> No. 112372
Might as well drop this here. :P

Lyra Heartstrings stared blankly at the mess. Various electronic parts, including brightly colored wires and microchips, were strewn across the floor. What was she going to do? Sweat beaded on her forehead as she swiveled her head, her eyes landed on the old analog clock that always hung on the kitchen wall. What’s the time? The hour hand was half way between the four and the five, and the minute hand was just past six. When would Bon Bon be home? Five fifteen. You still have time, Lyra, she told herself. Forty-five minutes wasn’t that much more time, however. She would have to fix this problem quickly.
>> No. 112385
>>112364
It was a dark and stormy night.

In Tartaros, having your head skewered on a pike wasn't an inherently negative experience. For example, with nothing more than a sharp rod and a bone saw, Patches could easily get above the roaring crowd at a game of Skullball. Or become the ball himself, as had happened once or twice in the past.

Alas, this was not one of those times and his head had, indeed, been most firmly placed on the business end of a pike. Down below his body paced a ring into the dirt, occasionally tapping the pole like a dog whose favourite stick had been thrown into a tree. He had not meant to drop the mistress' collection of eyeballs (it was hard to concentrate when you had literally a thousand eyes on you, after all), nor had he intended to slip on the slimy, rotund things and fall onto her prized senior hip collection. Still, at least she had merely been angry instead of cross with him; he greatly disliked the sensation of being hammered, if only because it shook loose things inside of his body that should not be shooken loose.
>> No. 112386
>>112385
This sounds awesome. Just thought you needed to hear that.
>> No. 112388
>>112385
Okay, for serious, where is your story? I have to read this.
>> No. 112392
>>112385
Holy fluff. That story of yours sounds pretty nifty. I don't think there's any decent way to follow that, so I might as well take the fall. In keeping with the "not-set-in-Equestria" theme...

In a cavernous room beneath the streets of Washington D.C., lit only by the pale light of the surveillance monitors that composed almost an entire wall, a startling and unexpected coup was taking place.
“There. It’s physically impossible to slip out of these bonds, so don’t waste your energy trying,” said the nine-foot-tall monster amalgam who had forcefully assumed control of the room, obviously pleased with himself. Nodding in satisfaction, he slunk over to the chair that his captive had previously been occupying and settled in in front of his brand new collection of monitors.
>> No. 112403
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112403
>>112386
>>112388
>>112392
I try.

Bob liked to think of himself as being more personable than the average lich. He was polite, helpful, and made sure to wash himself every day to ensure the smell of rotting flesh was kept in check. If he had been capable of such a thing he would have said he was a breath of fresh air in the local community. Bob made a decent un-living off of contacting deceased loved ones and, on the rare occasion, un-deceasing them. One time he had even been commisioned by an upstanding gentleman to reanimate an old rival of his, who then proceeded to gnaw his live counterpart's head off in a fit of long-delayed revenge. It had been a rather embarrassing and generally unpleasent experience explaining the situation to the local constabulary but, as everyone eventually agreed, the man had been asking for it.
>> No. 112437
>>112403
Are you sure that's not part of the same story?
>> No. 112439
She saw the puddle in the middle of the room and it did ever so much remind her of blood. It was blue, so that why it did didn't quite click with her, but something told her that what was oozing from the gigantic... thing that had just crashed on her living room had to be blood. Blueberry tasting blood, but blood nevertheless.
>> No. 112441
>>112437
In fact, it is. Or at least, the same mythos, if not the same story, per se.

>>112439
Sounds like Willy Wonka's Blueberry Girl met an untimely fate.
Either that, or Blueblood is taking things to a whole new level of literal-ness.
>> No. 112454
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112454
>>112367
>Jesus Christ, I remember that opening. That is the opening that brought about Gushnor.

>>112372
I think it would work a lot better with the entire second sentence removed. Sure, you're hiding information on what kind of mess, but it'd make a more pressing sense of urgency. Still, not a bad intro at all.


>>112392
Needs a little work. The first line is decent, but it gets vague and flat near the end (an unexpected coup? As opposed to one they plan for?). The entire second paragraph is pretty damn arduous, though.
>said the nine-foot-tall monster amalgam who had forcefully assumed control of the room, obviously pleased with himself.
Violates "Show don't tell" so hard I'm pretty sure it used to be a jogger on Law and Order: SVU.

>Nodding in satisfaction, he slunk over to the chair that his captive had previously been occupying and settled in in front of his brand new collection of monitors.
This is a fairly simple action, but you bog it down with redundant reminders that "this guy took over the Pentagon" or wherever this takes place.


>>112439
Has some noticeable grammatical errors.
>She saw the puddle in the middle of the room and it did ever so much remind her of blood.
You need a comma before conjunctions if it joins two complete thoughts, especially if they've got two different subjects. You don't need a comma if you're just combining actions, though. For example,
>He ran, and she jumped. (if the two thoughts are of equal length and short enough, the comma is omittable; it boils down to if you want a pause).
>He ran, and he jumped. (ditto)
>He ran and jumped.

>It was blue, so that why it did didn't quite click with her, but something told her that what was oozing from the gigantic... thing that had just crashed on her living room had to be blood.
I'm opposed, intuitively, to sentences this long in an opening. "that what was oozing from the" is pretty wordy, you can streamline that into something, like "that the ooze seeping out of the."

Actually, the whole sentence is pretty wordy.

>Blueberry tasting blood, but blood nevertheless.
Ironically, my favorite "sentence" here and it's not really a sentence. I break "complete sentences" from time to time when writing, but I usually leave out deviations from grammar until I've established a narrative voice that sounds like they'd use a sentence fragment.


---------------------------------------------------

[/i]And, almost one year old, here is the intro to Two Beats and a reminder to myself that I still need to go back and fix this story:[/i]

When I first got my job at the factory, I remember trying to find harmony in the sounds. I really did. All of the different parts of a track were there, so it should have been easy. The groaning of the conveyor belt was almost like the lower end of a keyboard, various pistons let out rapping like a snare, and the industrial press even let forth the rhythmic pounding of a bass drum. Even the whirring of drills reminded me of some of the electronic vocals I’d heard before.

It should’ve been easy.
>> No. 112467
A paragraph is a thought, it and accomplishes at least one thing. The first paragraph of a work, to me, is the first thought the author puts forth (ignoring prefaces, introductions, acknowledgements, author’s notes, and the like). This sets an impression that will likely usher the reader in either a negative or positive mindset. It sets the mood and gives the readers an expectation of what’s to come, even if that expectation is subverted.
To learn how to write well—to learn how to do anything well—is a matter of example. We learn how to improve from authors that did things well, and we learn how to avoid mistakes from authors that make them.
As I’m in a place where my normal library is inaccessible to me right now, I’ll post what I have at hand. A warning, though, that these will be eclectic and devoid of thought in my choosing them, being more about convenience than anything else. These were what I had readily at hand. Still! We can learn from them.

Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, Book I
I mean to inquire if, in the civil order, there can be any sure and legitimate rule of administration, en being taken as they are and laws as they might be. In this inquiry I shall endeavour always to unite what right sanctions with what is prescribed by interest, in order that justice and utility may in no case be divided.

Charles Lamb, Essays of Ella, I. A Character of the Late Ella
This gentleman, who for some months past had been in a declining way, hath at length paid his final tribute to nature. He just lived long enough (it was what he wished) to see his papers collected into a volume. The pages of the London Magazine will henceforth know him no more.

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Prologue
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

Ace Sanchez, Pokemon Master, Part 1 – Returns
An icy chill pervaded through the black night. Cold, except for the
unnatural hot wind blowing south with the strong scent of acrid smoke.
Through the dark starless sky slightly covered by clouds, intermittent
moonlight shone on to the thick green forest revealing, little by
little, a snaking trail of destruction. Burnt and broken tree stumps lay
on the ravaged path - some still burning with small, flickering flames -
as well as fallen branches and other debris interspaced with giant
animalistic footprints.

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto I
Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, where the right way was lost. Ah! how hard a thing it is to tell what this wild and rough and difficult wood was, which in thought renews my fear! So bitter is that death is little more. But in order to treat of the good that I found in it, I will tell of the other things that I saw there.

Homer, The Odyssey, Book I
Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much y sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he might he could not save his men, for they perished through their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.

Short Skirts and Explosions, Never, I
It was the first time Celestia ever cried. She knelt at Prism Shine's side, her foalish limbs quaking with every sob that came out of her petite lungs. She clung desperately to her dear friend's wrinkled neck, trying desperately to make sense with her weeping breath what all her immortal words failed to convey.

Allen Steele, Coyote, Book One, Part One
The Liberty Bell is much larger than he expected. Nearly fifteen feet tall, weighing over two thousand pounds, it’s suspended by its oak arm between two cement supports, the ceiling lights casting a dull sheen from its bronze surface. Captain Lee stands in front of the bell, meditating upon the long crack that runs down its side, the biblical inscription carved around its top: Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof. Lev XXV:X


I will also, at risk of casting a very negative light on myself, post here a few beginning paragraphs of my own work. These would be the kinds of openings you don’t want. So, I dug deep into my computer files and dusted off some of the introductory paragraphs to two of my old and awful stories:

The moon was bright and high; few misty wisps covered the bleached disc, yet the sky seemed to be filled with dark and despairing clouds pouring out their souls onto the canopy of dense trees. The jungles were a harsh and cruel place. A place which was cursed with this eternal fog. The firmament clung so heavily that the plants scarcely needed rain, yet it came. It came in such torrents that the soil hung and grasped the deep roots of trees with vicious determination, only to be swept away again.

and

Under the mountains brew vicious spite, mentality that threatens to corrode long-standing powers. Energies and dark contempt fill raging souls shaping the foundations of the earth. Dark shadowy caverns, the cornerstone of eloquent society felt in roots of archaic war. Shadows, memories most enthusiastically forgotten, creep into a home of shunned company. Outcasts take to penetration and corruption from the core of a fragile fellowship.

Hurrah for purple, so much purple! Kill me now.
>> No. 112552
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112552
>>112364
>It was a bright, sunny day in Ponyville.
Well that's just fucking great, you know? I mean, so few stories even mention the weather, so it's good you got this out of the way in the first fucking sentence. I mean, "a bright, sunny day in Ponyville." That's worth ~20k words without ever bringing up temperature, which should last you until it starts storming outside to reflect how it's a sad scenes. Because, you know, that's how sad emotions work: they're regular enough where Rainbow Dash can wake up and be like, "Ugh, I guess it's that time of the month again" and start drenching Ponyville.

ANYHOO, weather reports are a terrible way to start your story, unless your story is about the weather (drought, floods, etc). Why? Weather. Is. Boring. It's so boring, it's the only thing that white people feel safe enough discussing with total strangers because it can't be offensive to anyone. Start your stories with something controversial, that's the whole fucking point of conflict-driven plots. if you can't do controversial, do weird. If you can't do controversial or weird, then your story's probably boring and you should retool it or keep it to yourself.

>>112467
>The moon was bright and high; few misty wisps covered the bleached disc, yet the sky seemed to be filled with dark and despairing clouds pouring out their souls onto the canopy of dense trees.
This isn't as "purple" as it is redundant. For example, this can be rewritten as: "The moon was in its usual position; clouds covered the moon, however, the sky was filled clouds that were raining.

It's a fancy weather report, but still a weather report. Omit it, and you're left with:
>The jungles were a harsh and cruel place. A place which was cursed with this eternal fog. The firmament clung so heavily that the plants scarcely needed rain, yet it came. It came in such torrents that the soil hung and grasped the deep roots of trees with vicious determination, only to be swept away again.
Which is loads better, but you should be concerned about the flow of ending the first sentence where you do instead of conjoining them. E.g.,
>The eternal fog of the jungles was thick enough to sustain the plant life, yet rain still came in torrents.

Which, yeah, no matter how you cut it, you probably need to retool the intro to grab attention better.


>Under the mountains brew vicious spite, mentality that threatens to corrode long-standing powers. Energies and dark contempt fill raging souls shaping the foundations of the earth. Dark shadowy caverns, the cornerstone of eloquent society felt in roots of archaic war. Shadows, memories most enthusiastically forgotten, creep into a home of shunned company. Outcasts take to penetration and corruption from the core of a fragile fellowship.
You've got the same redundant problems in your other intro, too. In general, if you have two sentences that go, "the noun. Noun that," you can conjoin them into one thought.
>> No. 112575
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112575
>>112552
My definition of “purple prose” is “needlessly florid.” Redundancy falls under that category.

I know those openings were terrible. There’s a reason I keep them locked up. They haven’t been able to chew through the leather straps yet, thankfully.

I agree that weather reports are dull and unimportant to stories whose theme or subject doesn't involve weather or environment (particularly Man vs. Environment) in some way.
>> No. 112836
>>112575
Fair enough; I was just pointing out what's wrong with them from my point of view, not intending to re-say what you already know.
>> No. 113047
How's this?

Equestria was a land of peace. The monarch, Princess Celestia, watched over the land, guiding it. She had ruled for three thousand years, fighting off any threat that attacked her people. She was not only a powerful user of magic, but a powerful fighter. Despite being a Princess, she was not above punching a foe in the face. Princess Celestia sat in the training chamber of Canterlot Castle. She watched a fight, her eyes judging. The fight was between two unicorns, both having two important positions in her court. The first was a lavender coated unicorn with a purple mane and tail with a light purple streak. On both sides of her flank was a purple sparkle surrounded by five white sparkles. Her purple eyes glared at her opponent with determination as she stood in a defensive position. Her opponent was a white coated unicorn stallion, with blue eyes. His mane and tail were blue with a light blue streak. His mark was a blue shield with a purple sparkle in the center and three white sparkles above it. His stance was serious as he stared back at the other unicorn. There was a resemblance between them, but that was to be expected because they were siblings. The mare was Twilight Sparkle, Celestia’s protégé. The stallion was her older brother, Shining armor, the captain of Canterlot’s Royal Guard.

Twilight panted slightly, the fight- which was part of her training- had been going on for a couple minutes. She ran forward, her horn glowing. Shining stood still. Twilight lifted her hoof and moved to punch him, before disappearing in a purple flash. She appeared behind him, hoof reared back to punch. Shining blocked the punch with a kick. He jumped forward and turned around, Twilight chasing after. She let loose a flurry of punches, standing on her back legs. Shining blocked them all before grabbing her hoof and throwing her over his head. Twilight growled as she flew through the air, her face scrunched up in frustration. She teleported, appearing at Shining’s left, kicking him with a battle cry. Shining went down rolling to his feet. Throughout the fight, Shining’s face stayed blank. Twilight fired off a concussive blast. Shining’s horn glowed a soft pink, a blue bubble surrounding him. The blast hit the shield and rebounded straight at Twilight. Twilight shifted her head left, the blast grazing her mane and hitting a wall. Twilight’s horn glowed again as two copies appeared beside her. The three Twilights ran forward before separating. The three surrounded Shining, his eyes shifting to watch the triplets. They all converged on him, punching and kicking. Shining blocked the strikes. He jumped in the air punching two twilights while kicking the third. The twilights recoiled, hissing. Shining lifted his glowing horn to the sky, before dropping his head down as a blue wave hit the twilights, dispelling two of them and knocking the real one away.

Twilight panted hard as she scrambled to her feet.

That didn’t work. Twilight thought. I should try a different approach. More magic, maybe.

Yes, magic, incinerate him, burn him! said the voice at the back of her mind. It was the same as hers, only more maniacal, insane even.

Twilight hissed, closing an eye in pain and holding a hoof to her head.

“Enough.” Celestia called, her voice echoing in the chamber. The princess walked onto the field, moving with regal grace.

Twilight and Shining relaxed their stances. Shining frowned, his eyes showing worry as he looked at his sister.

“Are you okay, Twily?”

Twilight took a deep breath, pushing the voice back. “Yes,” she said her voice a little shaky. She smiled softly at her brother. “I’m fine, Shining.”

“You did very well, Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia said smiling at Twilight.

Twilight bowed a smile on her face. “Thank you, Princess.”

“But,” Celestia said, her smile turning to a slight frown her eyes displaying worry. “You must learn to control your emotions. Magic will pollute your darker emotions.”

Twilight’s smile fell slightly. She stood up and nodded. “I understand, Princess.”

Celestia nodded before turning to Shining. “Shining Armor, you are dismissed.”

Shining bowed. “Yes, Princess.” Shining smiled turning to his sister. “We’ll have lunch later to today.”

Twilight returned the smile and nodded.

Shining walked out of the chamber.

“Come with me, Twilight.”
>> No. 113050
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113050
>>113047
Reeks of exposition and you have a nasty rash of lavender in it. Why even talk about Celestia being a fighter when the actual battle is between Shining Armor and Twilight?

>Twilight lifted her hoof and moved to punch him, before disappearing in a purple flash
>punch
>unicorn capable of astounding feats of magic
>punch
But why.
Shining makes sense; he's part of the guard, so physical prowess is to be expected, but Twilight? Eeeenope.
Also, you use "punch" a total of seven times. Tad excessive.

The battle is as follows: W does X, Y does Z to counter W's X. Where's the mid-battle banter? The destruction caused by Twilight's concussive blast creates? The subtle nuances that make the scene feel real are conspicuously absent. Also, you're outright-stating everything that's happening. Why say Twilight's spell is a concussive blast when you could describe the explosion it makes upon hitting the wall? Let the actions speak for themselves.

Cut out the fat, give it more pizzazz. As is, this fight scene is more likely to be used as a sleep aid than something to get the adrenaline flowing.
>> No. 113052
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113052
>>113047
Far too much "telling," not nearly enough engaging action.

I mean, it's like a "sunny day." No one cares if the story's tranquil when it starts out. Every story is implied to be "normal" at the beginning, or at least, that there was some point when everything was "normal." The story should be about how the characters try to overcome some sort of obstacle between the present and normalcy.

So, don't start with "Equestria was a land of peace." Start with... well, the fight, as everyone loves a fight. Except make your fighting faster-paced and more vivid: precision of language, Asher, else you get your smacks.

The dialogue after the fight doesn't really do much, either. It's like you're baking a cake, but you're forgetting to mix the ingredients. Put some more actions into the dialogue (interaction with scenery, walking, etc).
>> No. 113059
Alright I'll work on it.
>> No. 113064
This any better?

Twilight panted slightly. The fight- which was part of her training- had been going on for a couple minutes. She ran forward, her horn glowing. Shining stood still. Twilight lifted her hoof and moved to punch him, before disappearing in a purple flash. Shining lifted his leg hearing the tell tale sound of teleporting. He blocked the punch with a kick. He jumped forward and turned around, Twilight chasing after. She reared up swinging her arms in rapid succession. Shining reared up as well, blocking them all with his own punches before grabbing her hoof and throwing her over his head. Twilight growled as she flew through the air, her face scrunched up in frustration. She teleported. Shining heard the sound but before he could react, felt something collide with his left side. Twilight hit him with a flying kick. He rolled slightly jumping up to feet and lowering his head, his face still blank. Twilight’s face scrunched up in concentration, firing a blast from her horn. Shining’s horn glowed a soft pink, a blue bubble surrounding him. The blast hit the shield and rebounded straight at Twilight. Twilight shifted her head left, hissing slightly as the blast grazing her mane. It hit the wall hitting, leaving a dent. Twilight’s horn glowed. Hazy figures appeared at her sides, before solidifying it to copies of herself. The three Twilights ran forward before separating. They surrounded Shining who lowered his body, his eyes shifting to watch the triplets. All at once they jumped, back legs extended. Shining jumped punching two twilights while kicking the third. The Twilights fell, quickly trying to get to their feet. Shining lifted his glowing horn to the sky, before dropping his head down as a blue wave expanded out from him. It collided with the Twilights, knocking them into the air. Two yelled as they faded. The real Twilight hit the ground, grunting as she rolled. Giving a quick hop as she rolled, she flipped, righting herself and sliding back slightly.

Twilight panted hard while Shining just gave her a blank stare.

That didn’t work. Twilight thought as she glared. I should try a different approach. More magic, maybe.

Yes, magic, incinerate him, burn him! screamed a voice in the back of her mind. It was the same as hers, only more maniacal, insane even.

Twilight hissed, closing an eye in pain and holding a hoof to her head.

“Enough.” Celestia called with finality, her voice echoing in the chamber. The princess walked onto the field, moving with regal grace. Her face natural as she approached the siblings.

Shining relaxed his stance while Twilight still held her head. Shining frowned, his eyes showing worry as he looked at her.

“Are you okay, Twily?” he asked, walking to her side.

Twilight took a deep breath, pushing the voice back. She lowered her hoof and closed her eyes, trying to steady her breathing. “Yes,” she said, her voice a little shaky as she opened her eyes. She smiled softly as she turned to him. “I’m fine, Shining.”

“You did very well, Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia said standing in front of them. She smiled softly at Twilight.

Twilight bowed a smile on her face. “Thank you, Princess.”

“But,” Celestia said, her smile turning to a slight frown, her eyes displaying worry. “You must learn to control your emotions. Magic will pollute your darker emotions, make you stray from your path.” Celestia closed her eyes, her face showing sadness if one looked hard enough.

Twilight’s smile fell replaced by an ashamed frown. She stood up and nodded before sitting and looking at the ground. “I understand, Princess.”

Celestia nodded. She turned to Shining, him going ridged with attention. “Shining Armor, you are dismissed. Thank you for your help”

Shining saluted, his face serious as he went into ‘guard mode’. “Yes, Princess.” His posture relaxed and he turned to Twilight with a smile. “Still up for lunch later?”

Twilight’s face lifted, a small smile gracing her features as she looked at Shining and nodded. “After my studies.”

Shining’s smile grew. “Alright,” he said as he turned walked out of the chamber. “See you then, Twily.”

Twilight smiled as she watched her brother leave.

“Twilight.”

Twilight snapped to attention. She turned to the Princess, her body stiff and her face serious. “Yes, Princess?”

“Come with me.” Celestia said turning as she motioned for Twilight to follow.
>> No. 113068
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113068
>>113064
Google Chrome shows a systemic problem with the writing; there's no way that that many "Twilights" in a paragraph is going to read smoothly.

And friction is the enemy in action scenes.
>> No. 113070
Alright, I'm determined to get this right.

Twilight panted slightly. The fight- which was part of her training- had been going on for a couple minutes. She ran forward, her horn glowing. Shining didn’t move, standing his ground. She lifted her hoof and moved to punch him, before disappearing in a purple flash. Shining lifted his leg hearing the tell tale sound of teleporting. He blocked the surpise punch with a kick. He jumped forward and turned around, Twilight chasing after. She reared up swinging her arms in rapid succession. Shining reared up as well, blocking them all with his own punches before grabbing her hoof and throwing her over his head. She growled as she flew through the air, her face scrunched up in frustration. Another purple flash and she was gone. Shining heard the sound, but before he could react, felt something collide with his left side. Twilight hit him with a flying kick. He rolled slightly jumping up to feet and lowering his head, his face still blank. Her face scrunched up in concentration as she fired a blast from her horn. Shining’s horn glowed a soft pink, a blue bubble surrounding him. The blast hit the shield and rebounded straight at Twilight. She shifted her head left, hissing slightly as the blast grazed her mane. It hit the wall, leaving a dent. Twilight’s horn glowed. Hazy figures appeared at her sides, before solidifying it to copies of herself. The three Twilights ran forward before separating. They surrounded Shining who lowered his body, his eyes shifting to watch the triplets. All at once they jumped, back legs extended into a kick. Shining jumped, punching two Twilights while kicking the third. The Twilights fell, quickly trying to get to their feet. Shining lifted his glowing horn to the sky, before dropping his head down as a blue wave expanded out from him. It collided with the Twilights, knocking them into the air. Two yelled as they faded. The real Twilight hit the ground, grunting as she rolled. Giving a quick hop as she rolled, she flipped, righting herself and sliding back slightly.

(On a side note why is the thread not showing the new post?)
>> No. 113072
>>113070
If you can wait until Thor's Day, I can go over this with you in a Google Doc.
>> No. 113074
>>113070
Try refreshing the page.
>> No. 113086
>>113072
Kay
>> No. 113415
>>113086
Come find me on gChat when you are ready, but for a fair warning, I'm not going to be awake for all evening.
>> No. 113420
My favorite opening line I've written:

"Fluttershy slapped Twilight Sparkle as hard as she could right in the face."
>> No. 113427
>>113420
That's missing a comma before "right in the face."
>> No. 113430
Not sure if the very first bit counts with mine, so I'll do my first few lines:

T minus 2 hours. Ponyville, outskirts.

"I don't get it," Sweetie Belle said. "Why are we decommissioning the Celestia?"
>> No. 113562
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113562
Complete attention hoarse opening line, but I started Let's Find You a Date!, Flying High, Falling Hard, and Equestria from Dust respectively with:

Twilight moaned in ecstasy.

High above Ponyville, Dash dove.

On a desolate plane, on a barren world, Celestia awakes for the first time.

The first transitions into a cheap joke insinuating Twilight and Rarity are having sex, gasp. only for it to turn out their at the spa getting a massage.

Second one starts off with Rainbow Dash trying, and failing, to perform a sonic rainboom, crashing into the library tree's branches.

Third one... well, I'll just post it here:

On a desolate plane, on a barren world, Celestia awakes for the first time.

Her eyes open to a white sea of cracked sandstone that spans the horizon, a murky gray sky blanketing it. The world falls under dim light that seems to come from everywhere at once. There is nothing around for miles. No life. No movement. Not even a breeze. There is only her, and every last bit of her is as white as the sandstone around her.


You can go for either a strong opening line, or a strong opening paragraph, but you can also go for both (which is what I like best).
>> No. 113592
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113592
It was a dark and stormy night (the sort which pleased lovers with an excuse to remain at their homes cuddling; gave mother respite of races against hyperactive, drenched foals; and enraged no one but literary critics and librarians, one of whom this story pertains) when the residents and guests of the large, tree library would be embroiled in an adventure far larger than themselves and involving more pink than any of them would desire.

I've had that for a bout five days after a bit of reading of the Hobbit, and I've been too busy to do anything with, or anything other than work and school.... hopefully I can get to it later.
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