Nonfiction openings #002: “The Good Short Life” by Dudley Clendinen

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As you read the following introduction, keep in mind that it is NONFICTION:

THE GOOD SHORT LIFE, by Dudley Clendinen, from The New York Times Sunday Review

I have wonderful friends. In this last year, one took me to Istanbul. One gave me a box of handcrafted chocolates. Fifteen of them held two rousing, pre-posthumous wakes for me. Several wrote large checks. Two sent me a boxed set of all the Bach sacred cantatas. And one, from Texas, put a hand on my thinning shoulder, and appeared to study the ground where we were standing. He had flown in to see me.

“We need to go buy a pistol, don’t we?” he asked quietly. He meant to shoot myself with.

“Yes, Sweet Thing,” I said, with a smile. “We do.”

I loved him for that.


It makes you wonder, doesn’t it, what the rest of the article is about and how it will all end? Clendinen doesn’t hold back anything here, and neither should you…

Try this:

For today, continue writing the story above. Of course, yours will be fiction, but try to keep the same energy that Clendinen has created in his prose. Tomorrow, I’ll give you another paragraph so you can see what was going on here, but for today, WRITE THAT SCENE!

Coming tomorrow: Day three of nonfiction beginnings to inspire your writing!

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