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First Line Critique

Last week, when I posted about first lines, you all started doing something wonderful: you posted your own and asked for feedback from other readers. You didn’t just do it here…people were critiquing opening lines on my Facebook page, too!

So before we move on to successful first lines from the published shelves, I thought I’d give you all an opportunity to critique and get critiqued by other writers based on your first line. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Read and comment on three (3) first lines in the comments (this obviously doesn’t apply to the first handful of people to leave theirs).
  2. Post your own first line and tell us if it’s a picture book, MG, YA, whatever.
  3. When you’re responding to the first lines of others, make sure they know that you’re talking to them. I usually put their name and some dashes. Unfortunately, these comments aren’t threaded to do replies, so it will be a bit of a mess.
  4. Check back and scroll through comments to see if anyone has commented on your work.
  5. I will pop in occasionally and pick out a few to critique. The first line with the most comments about it will get a first page (250 word) critique from me!

I love it when my readers tell me what they need, when they just jump in and start a conversation.

ETA: I will be by the site a few times today to approve comments. If you haven’t commented before, your comment will be held for moderation. I’ll release them when I can. But don’t worry — your comment was received, it’s just waiting on me. No need to comment again.


  1. Yirssi’s avatar

    I’m not sure if that’s how I want to start it though. This is the other first line I’ve considered I would use:

    When I was fifteen all I thought about was death.

  2. Koi’s avatar

    @Yirssi: Thanks. Yes, you´re right. The story slows immediately down.

    Now to your second first line: I love it.
    It´s a catching first line and you want to – have to- read along! I´m not sure with your first first line but this one´s really cool. 😉

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