- He refused to kill the dragon. I've used this to start a flash fiction piece, George Changes His Mind, which will be appearing shortly in my flash fiction collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again (Chapeltown Books (UK). I like this start as it gives me all sorts of possibilities - this could be a comic piece, a tragic one (the dragon doesn't refuse to kill him!) or a rebellion against authority tale. (Who sent him to kill the dragon? Why is he so adamant he won't do as he's been instructed to do - refused implies there was an order issued after all).
- She insisted on wearing the white. I've not used this one yet, I've invented this for this post, but there are possibilities here. Who is she? Why the insistence on the white (and what, by implication, would she have been expected to wear?). White is usually symbolic for purity - is the lady trying to make a point here to someone who may not believe her? And the white what? Whole outfit? Hat? Why would she not usually wear white?
- The congregation was full of thieves so taking the collection was going to be interesting. Again another invented line for this post. Again this could become a comic story or it could be a straightforward crime one. Where is this congregation? Why have they gathered like this? Who does take the collection (and what do they do with it?!). Who is the narrator here? (They're obviously not expecting to get the collection plate/bag back! What will they do?). And how does the narrator know they're all thieves anyway?
One of the great joys of coming out with lines like this is if I have an idea emerging from them which is not long enough to sustain a standard length short story, it will be fine for a flash piece.