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Twenty first lines

September 9th, 2008 (11:28 pm)

I'm very late with this meme, but better late than never!

The idea is to list the first lines of your last twenty stories, and look for patterns.

I'm not sure that there is much of a pattern to these unless it's that I like to plunge into a story, head first. And, maybe, that my second line tends to be better than the first :-)

The stories are listed in chronological order because I'm obsessive about that sort of thing.

Last night a messenger arrived with news that King Thranduil has already reached the Falls of Rauros and expects to be with us in less than a fortnight--almost three weeks earlier than expected and a good two weeks before the new wing of the Palace will be finished.

The first line of my huge, out-of-control, parallel-Middle-earths story, Shadowland. It's an extract from the journal of one of Legolas' counsellors, and is displayed in a handwritten font. I wanted it to establish that we were back in Eryn Carantaur (because the previous two stories had been set in Far Harad), and that the colony was thriving, and that (as with most of my stories) the action would be taking place against the clock. But quite why I chose these exact words, I don't remember...

It had started in Mirkwood.

The first line--actually the first paragraph--of the first story of my meandering fanfic100 challenge entry. It takes place on the journey home from Thranduil's Hall, after Eowyn (following an accident with some poison) has been granted a kind of immortality. A friend asked me whether Legolas, being an elf (and therefore, by his very nature, bound to Eowyn for life) was worried that an immortal Eowyn might one day tire of him... So that became the subject of this first story. I wanted the line to make people wonder, "What started in Mirkwood?"

“We're headin' fer a hard winter.”

The first line of Yuletide in Eryn Carantaur, a three-part short story written as part of my 2005 Yuletide (Advent) Calendar. When I wrote it, this story was set in 'the future', and it's going to give me a lot of trouble when I catch up (I think I will have to re-write it slightly). The story takes place at a Frost Fair, and the first few paragraphs form a prologue inspired by this painting of Eryn Carantaur by Pieter Brueghel. The line features one of my many laughable attempts to write dialect.

“Ada!” Legolas raced through the trees, holding out a tiny hand. “Look!

The first line of a Little Legolas story, The Butterfly. All my Little Legolas stories are inspired by the wonderful drawings by Dawnlyn, and I try to make my descriptions very physical--hence the 'racing' and the 'tiny hand'. I also try to capture the speech patterns of a small, lively child--hence the liberal use of italics.

The noise was unmistakable--the grunts and the guttural howls and the clash of steel on steel.

The first line of The enemy of my enemy, which is a Lord of the Rings/Star Wars crossover featuring Eowyn and Darth Maul. The line is intended to explain why Eowyn does what she does: Maul, having landed in Middle-earth for a bit of R&R, has found himself some Orcs; Eowyn, hearing a fight, feels honour-bound to help. I dearly love this story :-)

“My father has given you his answer, Boromir, son of Denethor, and I will not disobey him, nor will I leave my own people without protection,” says Theodred, drawing the older man aside, and adding, “but you will have your ally: my cousin shall accompany you to Rivendell; she will be our emissary; she will stand for Rohan.”

This is the first of fifty sentences written for the 1_sentence challenge. The 'tenth walker'* is the second most reviled story type in the LOTR fandom** so, of course, I had to write one, and include a bit of Legomance for good measure. 1_sentence sentences tend to be very long and convoluted, and I'm quite pleased with this one, which explains how Eowyn comes to attend the Council of Elrond with Boromir.

* The argument is that because there are nine Nazgul there can only be nine walkers. But what Elrond actually says is,

`And I will choose you companions to go with you, as far as they will or fortune allows. The number must be few, since your hope is in speed and secrecy. Had I a host of Elves in armour of the Elder Days, it would avail little, save to arouse the power of Mordor.

`The Company of the Ring shall be Nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders that are evil. With you and your faithful servant, Gandalf will go; for this shall be his great task, and maybe the end of his labours.

`For the rest, they shall represent the other Free Peoples of the World: Elves, Dwarves, and Men. Legolas shall be for the Elves; and Gimli son of Gloin for the Dwarves. They are willing to go at least to the passes of the Mountains, and maybe beyond. For men you shall have Aragorn son of Arathorn, for the Ring of Isildur concerns him closely.'

I read this as Elrond making it up as he goes along...

** The most reviled story type is 'modern girl falls into Middle-earth'.

“How much farther?” asked Eowyn.

The first line of Exploring South Ithilien, a LOTR/King Kong crossover. The story starts off well but eventually fizzles out because, of course, the elves are never going to harm a giant gorilla. The first line alludes to one of the many problems faced by a human living with elves: sheer exhaustion!

“That will not do,” said Eowyn, shooing Merry from her tent. “You will not kill many Orcs with a blunt blade! To the smithy! Go!”

The first line of What might have been, a missing NC-17 scene between Legolas and Eowyn at Dunharrow. The line is a direct quote from The Return of the King.

Something was wrong.

The first line of Eowyn and the centaur, a LOTR/Narnia crossover, in which Eowyn meets General Oreius and gets to ride on his back. The line is the start of a long description of the battle sequence that leads up to Oreius' being turned to stone (and in my story, passing into Middle-earth).

King Thranduil looked up from particularly vexing paragraph in Elrond's latest letter with a sudden alarming thought: Legolas is very quiet...

The first line of a Little Legolas story called The artist, in which Legolas draws something he's seen in his father's bedchamber without realising what it means... Unlike my other Little Legolas stories, this one is told from Thranduil-the-harassed-single-parent's POV, which the first line tries to establish.

Standing watch at the edge of the encampment, Legolas sensed her approach, and turned.

The first line of The stew, in which Eowyn, having tortured Aragorn with her stew, offers some to Legolas--“Though there is not much, and it is a little cold now,”--the elf is brave beyond the call of duty, and the couple make friends. The line is intended to describe the lonely Movie!Legolas we see outside the Golden Hall during the celebrations after the victory at Helm's Deep.

I watched; time took you swiftly.

A six word story, told from Legolas' POV.

It had snowed again during the night and Greenwood the Great looked like the tiny Forest inside the snow globe that Legolas' Ada had given him on his last conception day.

The first line of another Little Legolas story, The gyngerbrede, which was written for Christmas, and inspired by a mediaeval recipe. In the story, Legolas wants to play in the snow with his father but King Thranduil is too busy. The first line, which describes what Legolas sees when he looks out of the enchanted gates, tries to set the scene: the boy treasures the present his father has given him but would rather have more of his attention.

Eowyn laid down her pen and, looking up from her Orc map, glanced out of the study window.

The first line of a Valentine's Day story called The flower. The story is set before Legolas and Eowyn get together, when Eowyn is still in her disastrous marriage with Faramir. The line tries to convey Eowyn's weariness and dissatisfaction with life--through the window she sees two servants making love--but then Legolas arrives bearing a gift.

“Were you ever tempted by the ring?” asked Eowyn.

The first line of another 1_sentence challenge entry... For this one, I tried to write a continuous story--and the less said about that the better!

“Do not get lost,” said Legolas--seriously, for the Woods were unfamiliar to him and something about them, a feeling they aroused in him which he could not quite name, made him uneasy--“or I will never let you go by yourself again.”

The edited first line of a short story called Something in the Woods II (because I wanted to write a story with a numeral in the title), which was later incorporated in the longer story, Season of Mists. The line alludes to a previous incident (in Something in the Woods I) in which Eowyn, crouching behind a bush, is attacked by Orcs, but the fact that Eowyn needs more bathroom breaks than Legolas appears in several stories.

“He is tired, Lassui,” said Eowyn.

The first line of The servant and the Lady, which will form the prologue to my next-but-one long story. Eowyn is referring to the elfling she and Legolas are fostering, whom she tends to fuss over, treating him like a human child, much to the boy's delight.

The craftsmen-builders worked in four gangs.

The first line of Season of Mists. The story is a murder mystery set on a building site so the line introduces a fairly detailed description of the building process and the pecking order it creates.

“Perhaps, if you were to eat less, melmenya...” said Legolas, stepping past Eowyn and walking on ahead, his booted feet leaving no impression at the edge of the road.

The first line of a short story called Winter Magic, in which Legolas and Eowyn discover an elfling, and have a Christmassy adventure trying to find his parents. The line refers, of course, to Legolas' elven ability to walk on top of snow.

A small face peered over the edge of King Thranduil's desk.

The first line of my most recent Little Legolas story, called The goblin, in which Legolas is severely tempted to be naughty. The line tries to convey a young child's combination of patience and mischief.


Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: September 10th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)

** The most reviled story type is 'modern girl falls into Middle-earth'.

I always like to jump in at the deep end - especially the deepend with the crocodiles...

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: September 10th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
lord & lady


Between us, we can have them foaming at the mouth!

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