How good is your first paragraph?


Is it your first paragraph? The way it starts, it seems to imply that we are in the middle of a story. Now, if you started without a filter, with the:

Two bands of rats fought in the nearby alley. The challengers were dark-gray, the color of the rotting concrete… etc, it would make a great opening imo.

She Kills Elephants and Men

I despise peacocks, I always did. They strut around showing off their tails, the very thing that makes them useless. Birds must soar!

It takes a woman, of course, to understand this fundamental principle. My husband watched the cascade of colors by the garden maze’s entrance with rapt eyes. His mind, never too agile, was growing staler than a three-day old bread with age. “There was a letter you wanted to bring to my attention, chichorino?”


10/10 a solid opening, gives insight on the characters from the get go and creates curiosity about the letter, I really like it.

Edenville Wyoming was exactly what you would expect it to be, a small cookie cutter town clinging to its rural cowboy roots, nestled in the mountain region and entrenched in its own backwards manner. Folk from Edenville rarely left and you would be mad to move in without a deep desire for the quaint blandness of Edenville life, where the local paper reported wives gossip and a mix of school football and a series of bars made up the night life.

Edenville was no place for a girl like Lolita Harris.


8/10 It is a pretty solid opening and definetly makes me wonder why the town isn’t for your character. Such as what makes her so different than everyone else in this town? But, I feel like the paragraph itself could use a little more showing, not telling. Besides that, it’s great! I’d love to give it a read!

The ocean was unnaturally still from above. No waves, no ripples, just a mess of black water, as far as the eye could see. Suede had a window seat, a much-needed necessity for a twelve-hour long flight. The view, even though all the same, was magnificent. The plane had already been in the air for eleven hours and Suede hadn’t turned away from the window since she awoke, two hours ago.


Thanks! I’m really surprised my 1st paragraph got such a high rating while not being really explicit, I bet I should have explained a bit more about the book. It’s fantasy; my non-human twin main characters are in their egg at the beginning of the story, that’s why I tried being a little vague (mostly with that last sentence). Thanks again for giving me your POV. (Your first paragraph is really intriguing! It gives the need to go check what is wrong with the sky. Or is it because I’m too curious? :thinking: )


Haha, it’s not that interesting after you figure out. (I think)


Hey there,

It looks like this discussion is better suited for the Character and Story Games club and I’ll go ahead and move this for you.

Thank you for your understanding

Katherine - Community Ambassador :katherinearlene:


I like it, although I don’t feel that the name needs to be repeated. Also, if the water is still and tranquil, why is it a mess? Otherwise, I’d say 8/10.

In Search of Jericho

A thick darkness choked the city of lights, colouring the sky shades of sapphire to violet as loosely spun clouds drifted aimlessly above. The power had gone out, leaving behind only a sinister glimpse of an underworld trapped in the glass bulbs; now unleashed, it had spread through the neat and uniform blocks like a virulent cancer. Man’s homemade stars rippled and reflected across the gentle ocean, while breezes whipped the palm fronds into a frenzy.


i like the description that you gave. It gave a good and clear image for the reader, so id give it a 10/10


There it stood in a glorious stance, the two ornate emblemed doors between me and the throne room. beside them were the bloodied corpses of the guards that once guarded them. And as soon as I touched the doors, it seemed to know what I was going to do and it opened without a sound. A rush of adrenaline flooded me when I looked upon the room for the first time. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the doors only showed a small portion of what lay beyond them. The carpet that was laid out before me was a beautiful crimson red. The floor itself was a black granite with a breathtaking finish. Pure gold braziers filled with oil which burned with blue flames giving a menacing look to the walls, while still complementing the rest of the room. The room filled with an aroma of lavender and citrus, even though it seemed that they couldn’t mix, it was surprisingly good to the nose. Trying to figure where the smell came from, I looked up and saw swaying lanterns that had a mist flowing from them. I then realized that they contained the smell which filled the room.


6/10: I would keep on reading, but I feel like when you started describing the room, the tension that was there in the beginning from seeing the dead guards sort of flitted away. I think less focus on the room and more focus on what she’s doing there will fix that.

Here’s mine:

“Okay people!” Hani slammed her hands down on the table. “Escape attempt four-hundred and thirty-two is now underway.” She looked down at her brave comrades. The eclectic assortment of mangled and dilapidated stuffed animals and distorted figurines looked back at her with their blank smiles.


6.5/10 I like the voice of this and how this upends my expectations, but it probably wouldn’t capture my attention. I’d have to read a little more to see if your MC’s voice could carry the scene.

The Deep

Two days ago, a man died here. When the current shifts, his bloated flesh bobs against me.


10/10 That’s one way to start something. It pretty flawlessly encompasses a conflict, and great tone.

Cursed Gardens

The magnolia tree was dying.

In a different household, in a different greenhouse, this may not have been as distressing as it was to Maggie. Once, her aunt had told her that when a plant refused to water and sunlight and soil to flourish, it was absorbing curses for her.

If the magnolia tree was dying, then Maggie was in trouble.


8/10 I like it a lot, it is pretty catching.

Ivory Black

Elena stood with her hands spread over the chilled glass like dark sea stars. If there had been fewer choices she would have picked long ago, but the array put her mind into a happy tingle of possibilities. There wasn’t just all the flavors and toppings, but all the possible combinations. At least the choice of cone was simple enough, a plain waffle cone. As her breath fogged up the glass another shopper cut in front of her reaching in decisively. She took a step back and waited until they were gone, this wasn’t something she liked to rush. Elena had an unhealthy obsession with ice cream but after all it was our last Friday before school started again, which was a good reason to go a bit crazy. After a few more moments she shifted her gaze to Corbin and I.