Critique the first and last paragraph

The rules are simple. Post the first and paragraph of your first chapter. The person underneath will critique the paragraphs above and then post their own and so on.

Please be considerate to other people’s feeling when critiquing. Offer advice in friendly and helpful ways.

Have fun! And if something grabs your attention, go read it! Make friends! Help each other!

I will start.

This is from my book Dog Days

First Para:
A wave of black, square caps flew up into the cloudless sky, only to have gravity begin to pull them right back down. Upon their descent, a gentle breeze blew the caps around into a confusing cluster. In the distance, applause rang from the stands as the students began collecting their hats.

Last Para:
Stealing one last glance, she watched the mangled deer bound towards the broken window.

Critique: First Para- Immediately sets the scene which is great. Vague enough that it nearly forces you to keep reading which is a good tactic as well.

Last Para- Honestly, being a single sentence and having no context of the middle I don’t have much to say about it. The sentence itself is well written for sure.

From my Book :The Darkness Inside Chapter 1
First Para The smell of black powder, blood, sweat, and all other forms of death imaginable fill the air of the once quiet city. The sounds of the battle were fading in the distance as a lone figure walked the derelict streets. Like all Men he was greedy beyond measure. His only goal was to dishonor as many Elven women as he could. In this age the mixing of the races was looked down on and few who suffered the fate of bearing a half blood child allowed themselves to live after such disgrace.

Last Para How could this man be so noble and true even knowing the truth she thought. His response shocked her more than the kiss and she knew she could no longer push him away. With tear filled eyes she embraced him to her and smiled. " You do me great honor Orphus and I accept."
Within the week Orphus had moved from his room in the barracks to Elora’s shop and they began their life together.

first > You set the scene clearly and immediately throw us into a world at war. Very recognizable behaviour for soldiers in war is all I have to say about the mixing…
Slight typo maybe?: should it not be > the sounds of battle > instead of > the battle?

second > Odd ending versus the beginning @.@ Did the guy in the first paragraph find a elven woman, happy to get dishonored and lives now together with him??
I think the sentence > With tear filled eyes > might be better described as > With tears in her eyes…
sounds more smoothly in my opinion.

My turn: > from my story > Wolrick the Warrior.
‘He is dead, and that is your fault!’ The townswoman screamed and emptied the bucket of night soil over Wolrick’s head. ‘Why? Why did you rekindle the war? We could have had long-lasting peace and my Rognir would still have lived!’

How did it end up like this again? He wondered. Floating mentally back in time, Wolrick Hrogisson stared ahead past the huts and pithouses through the end of the earthen street where it became the harbour. Focusing on the distant waves and sounds of the sea, it allowed him to drift away, back in time…if only…for a short moment~~~

In response to the critique since you did ask a couple questions:

First- You have a point. As I wrote that scene I put “the” to specify that it was a particular battle in place of leaving it open for the belief other battles were going on in the area.

Second- NO, the man at the beginning and the one at the end are two different men, but without the rest of the context there was no way to know that or understand the tone shift. lol As for the tears thing, I’m going to venture to say it varies from person to person just because I don’t care for how “with tears in her eyes” sounds when I read it back to myself. Not a bad suggestion at all though.

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I really enjoyed both of your chapters and you can see the growth and how drastically everything has changed. I would maybe put a little bit more of panic or sadness in the last paragraph show how he feels just a little more

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First:When I closed my eyes it felt like I was back in my six-year-old body at the carnival. My head was spinning in circles as if I had just gotten off the merry-go-round and my stomach was in knots, just as it was when I would always eat too much cotton candy. The one obvious difference from then to now was, that when I was six there was always someone to hold my hand and reassure me that I would be okay. Now, it’s just me.

Last:(my story isnt finished but this is the last i wrote)
I feel the part of me that’s really me come out to play, to feel the vibe of the music and let my body go free. One moment, one brilliant feeling of togetherness suspended in time. Music, friends, good times, dance. With that music, that beat, those crazy, crazy lights I know I’m alive, I’m real, and reality is awesome. By the end of the night I’m quite drunk, I should cut back but who’s counting?

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Emm. thank you. Did we meet before? And you were saying chapters? Did you meant to say the paragraph’s? Or did you actually read my first two chapters?

I see. But not to worry^^ The rest of the chapter should have more then enough to accommodate for.

paragraphs oops sorry!!! But, dont think we have met before but i could be mistaken


The first paragraph is very descriptive, though I don’t know enough to tell you what exactly you should change and I’m afraid I might tell you something that’s wrong. It’s well-written, though. I especially like the last sentence, how you take us back to when the protagonist was six and compare that to now.

The last paragraph sounds more like a song, you really manage to convey the atmosphere. It reads a bit chaotic (the many commas), thus you establish that party-mood.
The last sentence sounds like a jump in time, so you might want to start the next paragraph there already.

My first paragraph:

One of those evenings, when hearts are full and spirits high, she walked down a street she hadn’t been to in a long time. She set one foot in front of the other rhythmically, almost dancing to her favourite music. She admired the town which was basked in golden light, making it appear like something out of a fairy tale if one stood at the right spot. The sunset was more beautiful than ever, though it was getting late.

The last paragraph:

As the sun disappeared seemingly under the sea, she waved Caspar goodbye (who slowly disappeared under the water/who seemed to vanish with the sun/who vanished underwater or with the sun/, watching him disappear under the water surface).

First: The first paragraph is so beautiful. Well described. You have a beautiful way with words. I can really imagine a town with it’s buildings washed in gold. It is amazing.

Last: The last is beautiful too. It did not catch my attention as much as the first one did because I am a little confused how you presented it here. The lines inside the parenthesis, are they supposed be lines from a poem or are you giving us a context or a choice to think what Caspar is doing?

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The first paragraph:

Nikita pushed back a strand of her short dark hair behind her as she pressed her phone between her left ear and shoulder, waiting for her daughter to pick it up. It took her some time to get a respond from the other end of the line. She absentmindedly sliced her onions as the phone rang in its dull monotonic ring tone. Then she heard a click and her daughter, Kabira’s, voice surfaced out. “On my way, Mom.”

My last paragraph:

She stared blankly at the sterile, white wall in front of her. After some time, she said, “If I were you, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.” Her tone was clipped and matter-of-fact. She did not get any response from her mother. She did not want any. She slid down along the chair and rested her head against the wall. In their small bubble of silence, the mother and the daughter sat side by side and waited for the inevitable news.

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Oh nooo! What news? I just reacted to your cover so I can imagine what The Apple has to do with this all. I can only imagine what happened between the first and last chapter. I think both chapters do well to set up the scene. Your imagery is very good. Your descriptions do well to set the mood of the scene. All in all they’re very good.

“Let me go you son of a bitch!” Dahlia Vicker yelled at the man who had bound her hands to the wooden chair.Though she was blindfolded, she could still smell the scent of dirt and tobacco he wore oh so boldly so she knew he was still in the room.“Let me go!” she screamed.She heard nothing more than the shuffle of his feet. Then she screamed again.“Help!”

Devin had stayed behind. I begged him to come with us but he forced me into the car. He’d made a deal, for all that happened with the diamonds. It was the only way we’d stay safe. The only way Gills wouldn’t come after us. It wasn’t fair that he had to sacrifice everything just for us.“D, you know Devin. He’ll find a way out, and soon he’s going to join us over in Marverly”.“I hope you’re right”. I pulled out the one diamond he’d given us so we’d have some money over in the next town. I prayed she was right.

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That’s just me not having made up my mind yet :joy: I forgot to take it out.

Thank you a lot!

:joy::joy: You are welcome

The hook sets up a conflict, which is a way to draw the reader forward, which is good.
The last paragraph sort of leaves the reader hanging, as if there is more to come, but maybe there is, if its a series or serial, though usually a serial would bring the reader to the point of some cliff hanging moment for the ongoing serial.

First Paragraph

After reciting the Three Jewels and the forty-eight vows of the Sutra of Infinite Life, the elderly Manahhat meditated. Jet threads rose from two lit tapers set on the stone tiles before him. The smoke from these met, to pool oddly above his head. The soft but insistent candlelight left all else in shadow, for the hour was late. Manahhat Bhrevita sat calmly hands on knees, eyes closed, and breathed his personal mantra into the still and quiet. Before the folds of his orange robe, a prayer scroll lay upon the cold floor. There exists only one copy of this, and its keeping forever belonged to Manahhat.


“Yes. I will have fresh water drawn for your people. Go and rest, Don-ald and Sarah Coveny. Another day in the cycle will begin soon enough. We can talk more then, if you like.”
Dhal rose from before the master, and grinned. “I will take you, Don-ald. Gooja Kahn will not be there, I am afraid. I will see you back to Hingoli when you are done here.” Donald took Sarah’s hand and followed, glancing over his shoulder at Manahhat Bhrevita.

Before his pooling orange robe, on the cold floor, lay the prayer scroll, the Eternal Wheel, the Chant of Forever. There exists only one copy of this, and its keeping forever belongs to Manahhat. Always Manahhat.

(Im afraid it’s not very instructive, as the story denouement comes just prior to this conlusion The form is called a bow-tie,)

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I’m definitely very curious as to what’s going on here. The first paragraph does a very great job of setting the scene and drawing in the reader by slowly revealing more visual aspects of the setting, making them realize that this is something that they are not familiar with. The last paragraph gets a little confusing, but that’s just because, as you said, we are missing the part of the chapter that explains it. I feel like it definitely sets stuff up for the rest of the book though, and makes me fell like something is going to happened before they reach Hingoli.

From my book, Dystopian Delusions

First paragraph We learned about the Torching (or in the words of Flame, the greatest accomplishment of the human race) when we were 13. A boy in my class piped up and jokingly called it, “The greatest achievement of Supreme Psycho.” As part of my training, I lit the match that Torched him.

Last Paragraph Tomorrow, we’ll go together to the home where I was born. I’ll see where my parents lived, how my parents lived, where they held me that first day. And at the end of the month, Flame will inaugurate the new recruits to the Red Suits live on television. She will test their allegiance to her new nation, and if they pass, they will move through. If they fail, they will be Torched. I refuse to be swayed by parents I never meant.