Yes, it's every bit as self-centered as it sounds. Indulge me, please. :-)
With dusk the breeze begins.
The text on the monitor slid into a blur.
The midday sunlight presses down, baking red blood into the dirt of Golgotha--the hill of execution.
“I figured it out.”
Don spat into the sink again, reaching in the dark for the sound of running water.
The next yawn is nearly wide enough to dislocate my jaw.
The crack of canvas in September wind sounded loud even to Blair’s ears.
“He’s kind of busy.”
The first blow was perfectly calculated.
Cassandra Fraiser opened the door to the hallway outside her dorm suite, ready to tell Jason that no, he couldn’t come in, because he was way too early and she hadn’t even had a shower yet.
How that hùndàn little mercenary could lose himself in a place this small, Zoe would never know.
Sara Sidle tapped her left palm with the tip of her blonde oaken wand.
Not all the dreams are nightmares.
“Done with that transfer yet?”
There’s a stitch in his side, phantom pain, phantom side, and he’s still running.
Percy flattened himself against the wall as a tangle of limbs and robes shoved past him, shouting and name-calling.
It feels as if he hasn’t slept for weeks.
It’s cold, and she shudders, but it’s only the wind.
--First, I can see that I still like starting a story in medias res. Not that I figured that would have changed since last year, but it's fairly obvious.
--Four out of nineteen fics begin with a line of dialogue. Intriguing. That's not many, but clearly I don't mind jumping into the middle of not only the story, but the middle of an interaction between characters, before setting the story. (Eight of the remaining fifteen fics drop some detail of the setting within the first line.)
--I think I may have weaned myself off the habit of beginning a story with the name of the main character. Only four of the nineteen lines begin with a character's name; and only two of the remaining fifteen even include a character's name in the first line at all. Now, if we were doing first paragraphs, the numbers here would be higher, but we're not, so.... :-)
--Holy mackerel, when did I start evaluating my stories in terms of statistics? *glares at Charlie Eppes*
--It seems--and I crave your thoughts on this!--that I may be getting better at kicking off the style of the story in the very first line (compare "The first blow was perfectly calculated" to "Cassandra Fraiser opened the door to the hallway outside her dorm suite, ready to tell Jason that no, he couldn’t come in, because he was way too early and she hadn’t even had a shower yet").