canvas tent“I woke to the patter of rain on canvas, with the feel of my first husband’s kiss on my lips.”

This opening line immediately put me into the scene by bringing back memories of childhood camping trips and rain pattering on the nylon overhead. I could hear the sounds, smell the rain in the air, and almost feel the lumpy ground under my sleeping bag.

Then the rest of the line sparked my imagination with ideas about honeymooners on a camping trip. Yet, the narrator speaks of her first husband so there must be at least a second by the time the story opens. Is this a flashback trip down memory lane or has she awakened from a powerful dream inspired by the sound of the rain? What happened to her first husband anyway? Where is she? And how soon until the rain starts leaking into her shelter and wakes her up completely?

This story starter has done what it should by raising questions and creating common points where the reader can relate to the narrator. (By the way, this opening line is from The Fiery Cross , a 2001 science fiction novel by Diana Gabaldon selected at random after a stroll through my local library.)

What about you? What did you picture? What did you think was going to happen next?

Story Starters – 6
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