Writing Resource: Random First Line Generator

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I like to use random generator tools to spur ideas for quick and spontaneous writing. Some people find it difficult to think of something to write when they are under pressure even if it’s self-imposed pressure. However, I find doing writing exercises regularly that are prompted by a random generator of some sort keep my writing skills sharp. I can pretty much write something worthwhile at the drop of a hat now. All it takes is some regular practice.

Today’s resource that I would like to share with you generates an entire line randomly when you click the button. It’s on the Writing Exercises website which you can find HERE. There are several generator tools to choose from and they are all pretty great. For example, from the home page, you can select a Random Quick Plot Generator. When I used that tool, this is what I got.


Right away my mind begins spinning off into the setting for the opening scene in which my young man is standing on a cliff ready to jump, the wind whipping his blond hair off his forehead to reveal his royal blue eyes and the police are after him. Then there is a ‘4 Days Earlier’ transition into the meat of the story. I can’t wait to write it!

One of my favorite tools on this site is the Random First Line Generator. This tool just gives you the first line of your piece and then you’re off! I like to use generator tools in conjunction with my Write or Die Desktop Edition (there is a free web app version too). I set a time or word limit and pound away on my keyboard until I hit my set goal. Sometimes I stop there and sometimes I keep going. Other times I set it aside so I can think about it and add more to it later. Whatever you decide to do with your piece of writing, it’s an excellent way to get your juices flowing.

Here’s what my First Line came out as:



And here’s what I wrote in 5 minutes. (This is completely unedited.)

# # # # #

There was nothing left of the money except what lay on the table. Hank looked at the paltry stack of bills and felt his anger rising up into his face. He took a deep breath and trained his eyes on Marney.

“This is it?” He tried to control his fury, but it seeped out through his teeth like smoke.

She nodded silently, afraid to meet his eyes.

“Look at me.”

Her head came up inch by inch, her fresh shiner a grim reminder that Hank was back home and he was in charge. Her arms twitched, grabbing onto each other for comfort, her hands flitting up and down her too thin arms like dying birds.

“This is all that’s left?” He growled at her.

“Yes.” She said, tears leaking from her eyes. She nodded. “Yes. That’s all.” She waved a small hand at the paper on the table.

The silence was pregnant with unpent rage.

“There were bills, Hank. ” She stammered. “And Malorey . . . needed school . . . clothes and supplies . . .” Her voice trailed off, knowing Hank didn’t care about what their daughter needed to raise above the filth and poverty they both had grown up in.

“Damn it, Marney. I needed that money!” He yelled, slamming his fist onto the formica table top.

The paper bounced once and rolled over onto its side before it fell with a plop onto the kitchen floor. Before Marney’s eyes could get from the money on the floor to Hank’s face, she felt his fist pound into her cheek.

She opened her eyes. The money was inches from her face, his boots were coming closer and Marney began to cry.

# # # # #

I like to use generators and a 5 minute timer on my Write or Die to get myself warmed up. Then I get to work on my novel. Or sometimes, I use the generator as a blog post topic AND a writing warm up to boot!

Happy Reading and Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂


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