How good is your first paragraph?


Your first paragraph is good, although it feels like the reader is being dropped into the middle of the story.

Title: The Legend of the Moonflower Princess

First Paragraph: The month of the red flowers, in the dead of the winter season, was the time in which the king and queen died.


7/10 It’s not bad, I’d keep reading to the next line, but it doesn’t really catch my attention until the end.

Stay of Insanity
I’m not actually sure if I’m going to use this as the opening, that’s why I’m posting it here. I want to point out it would be the opening of a sequel, I don’t know if that makes a deference.

It felt strange. I thought I’d be more used to it by now. But the stickiness of the blood clinging to my hands still felt strange to me. It dripped off my fingers. Spatting onto road as I stood there. My breath coming in quick bursts, and I tried to slow it.

The excited tingle that ran through me didn’t help.


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.


8/10. Your first paragraph introduces your characters nicely. I would think that there should be some vivid description and have the sentences vary, but this is just a suggestion. You don’t have to take it, if you don’t want to. It’s a really good paragraph.

]It was a chilly evening in Eyridge that had left a faint blush upon the faces of wandering pedestrians, leaving some to clutch their winter coats as they cringe from the cold breeze that would occasionally brush by. They were all heading to the same direction, Eyridge Square, with the exception of one woman. She stood in front of the Historical Library, blowing warm air into their freezing hands. As the crowd arrived, squeezing together to make sure everyone would fit, they silently watched the clock.


9/10. It’s pretty good. Is it supposed to be their hands? Something tells me that’s not what it’s supposed to be.

I stared at my new knee brace. My doctor, Dr. Garcia, said that I had dislocated my right Patella. This was of my worse injuries in a long time. The last time was when I was five. I had bitten through my tongue. I was sixteen now and a few things have changed since then. I was more careful, more aware of my surroundings, and less likely to fall. There’s something that would never change, though. No matter how hard I tried.


7/10. Personally, I think the sentences are too short, it makes me read it a little funky. You could combine some of them with commas to make it flow a little better in my opinion. I also think you made a mistake in the third sentence, ‘This was of my worse injuries in a long time.’ I’m assuming you meant ‘This was one of my worst injuries in a long time’ or something along those lines. It does capture my attention though and make me curious about what wouldn’t change~

Here’s mine!

In youth, many wished to become a doctor, a scientist, a dancer, and some more daring may have wished to be a knight. Some drop them, finding them unrealistic or stupid, or maybe their interests just shift to something else. But the students of Yellowback, an academy for knights, never let those non-believers snuff their ambitious goals to be the next generation.


5/10 This feels strangely impersonal. I’d really like to see your main character, rather than an overview of an academy. I think your idea is really intriguing, I’d just like to get a connection to a character too.

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


Oh my gosh. That sounds like the beginning of a horror novel. Is it?

Alex’s mother, father, and brother were the only people who knew that Alex was born a girl. Everyone else thought he was always a boy. It was better that way. No one would ever call him a girl it by his dead name. Alex hated being a girl. He just… wasn’t. That’s what his birth certificate said, what science said. Screw science, Alex was a boy because that’s who he was. No one could tell Alex that he wasn’t. His mother and his brother, James, supported him. His father, well, he was ok. When he got drunk he sometimes called Alex a girl. By his dead name. Alex hated it. He left when Alex was ten. The abandoned family couldn’t bring themselves to be fully upset over his departing.


It’s a horror/psychological short story :slight_smile:


You did so well! You made me know it was a horror story right from the bat. That’s good!


I give this a 6/10

Personally it didn’t draw me in. It was kinda point blank and basically feels like the entire story was told in the first paragraph. I think this story would be better told in first person from Alex’s point of view so we could really feel when he said “I hated it” instead of “Alex hated it”. It feels more powerful from first person.

My first paragraph:
“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! A firm punch landed from on her right cheek causing her head to whip abruptly in the other direction. She then heard a sadistic laugh from her right. How did he move so fast? Is there someone else here? She moaned as her head ached and her hands strained against the handcuffs digging into her wrists. Suddenly the blindfold was ripped from her eyes to around her neck. Two masked men were standing on either side of her. Another man in an all-black suit and oxfords stood before her. Arms crossed, leaning against the metal door. He wore shades, but she could see the wrinkles at his eyes when he smiled a contemptuous smile. It sent a shiver down her back.Whoever he was he was the man in charge and she was in trouble.


oh my god this first paragraph is AMAZING i’m giving it a 10/10 because it intrigues the reader and makes them asks questions like what dahlia’s in trouble for doing and who these men are. also, the use of dialogue to start works well as it sets the action-packed tone for the paragraph in my opinion :slight_smile:


here’s mine if anyone wants to read it, and sorry if it’s boring because it’s only teen fiction oops

I don’t really want to go to this party. And it’s weird that I’m just realising this minutes before Kate comes to get me, but then again, I don’t think I was really invited. Dylan Parker invited Kate to his Halloween party, and Kate’s choosing to bring me as a plus two. Not a plus one because Spencer, her boyfriend, would be her plus one, and he was invited properly anyway so that doesn’t count. I guess I’m just feeling a little out of it, because I normally spend my Halloween nights alternating between giving candy to trick-or-treaters and watching horror movies, not getting dressed up in this nearly obscene corpse bride costume my best friend convinced me to get. She only succeeded because all the orange in that costume shop was warping my head into making stupid purchases. It’s how they get you.


I would give this an 7/10! I really enjoy how you gave readers a look at some of the characters. Good job!

here’s mine:

EVERYTHING IN THE TWO STORY CAPE COD HOUSE WAS SILENT . The large glass windows were lightly dusted in a thin coating of rain, reflecting the small droplets onto the shiny laminate floors that were cleaned once to many times. The red stain still remained in my head even though I had tried so hard to forget. I don’t need to worry though. The house is silent and no one is here. He isn’t here.



I really like your attention to detail in your descriptions, especially the bit about the floors being cleaned to many times as it hints towards the kind of people that might be living in the house. I noticed you changed from past to present in the middle - I’m not really sure what the rules regarding changes in tense are so maybe that’s something to look up on if you’re not certain. Overall the paragraph is really intriguing and draws you in. I think “the red stain sill remained in my head” could be described better as to me it sounds a little awkward (which could because of the rhyme between red and head).

My first paragraph:


I spot him sitting on the ledge, sun-beat-trailer behind him. He’s got that familiar line between his brows, tired elbows resting on his knees. His dirty blond hair is captivating, almost angelic. It’s a stark contrast to the rest of his rugged features. The sun is too soft, too kind against the strong line of his jaw and I’m caught off guard by his presence, startled by his willingness to talk to me.


that’s a fantastic beginning! it really draws me in and makes me want to know more about the characters. your description of the character’s posture and the contrast between his rugged features and his soft surroundings are quite nice as well. the one thing i would say is give us a bit more of the setting; it’s a bit hard for me to imagine how the characters are positioned in space right now. over all, though, it’s great. 9/10.

here’s mine:

Bae-ka stared at the cream colored packet in her hands, eyes wide behind her thick framed glasses. It was beautiful for an envelope, she thought, beautiful for anything. The paper was smooth as silk and the emblem of Seoul National University was emblazoned on the front in thin gold leaf, perfectly cut and perfectly centered. Her eyes traced the words printed in delicate letters just below the emblem. Veritas Lux Mea. The truth is my light. It was heavy and thick and if she’d learned anything from the past three months of university applications, it was that thick was usually a good sign.


9/10. ahh i felt secondhand stress from this (i’m sending my applications right now oof) and i pretty sure that’s a good thing. your writing is descriptive and draws the reader in pretty well. there are a couple stylistic choices you might wanna consider taking, such as italicizing ‘veritas lux mea’ and using an em dash (—) instead of a comma after ‘university applications’.
also. . . i love ikon so +1 for the title ‘love scenario’. i’ve added it to my library!!

IT WAS A procedure that Adelaide had never done and had hoped to never do — bloody, gruesome, recently expired remains was where she drew a hard line in her profession. But somehow, she found herself cornered in her own office by Athena with the unspoken threat of termination hanging over her head if she refused to do it.

In Athena’s hands was a box of thick files filled with painfully brief M.E. reports, transcripts, and miscellaneous data. Under any normal circumstance, Adelaide would have already hunkered down and devoured the new information; but this wasn’t any normal circumstance. This was a case of murder — a horrific slaughtering of several women whose remains were twisted and brutalized so badly that it was difficult to ascertain whether or not they had once been human.


No, it’s supposed to be her hands… I must’ve typed it without knowing and submitted it…



I heard the bells tolling from the palace. One. Two. Three. Four. Four chimes. The chime of death. You see, there are four parts to everyone: the mind, the body, the heart, and the soul that holds it all together. The four chimes represent each part of the person disappearing and flying over the endless sea to… well, no one really knows where. My father used to tell me that it was a place where you were surrounded by sky. Everywhere you looked was a clear blue, and you were just floating in the middle of it all. I was too young and stupid to realize that was all bullshit. I don’t know what’s past the endless sea. Probably more sea? It is endless, after all.


oooooooo a mystery!! i would definitely keep reading. this is an awesome way to start a story–the language and concepts are striking and unique. you also give a great insight into the characters’ personalities in just a couple paragraphs. Athena seems pretty unyielding and Adelaide seems like an actual human (unlike a lot of characters) so 10/10 on that front.

i have to give you a 9/10 because there are a couple teeny tiny things i would change. the first thing is in this sentence:

it reads sort of clunkily as it is. here’s an idea of how you could change it: "But somehow, Athena was cornering Adelaide in her own office, the unspoken threat of termination hanging over her head if she refused to do it."

but idk that’s not gospel obviously. my second problem is in this sentence:

and this is really nitpicky but the semicolon should probably be a comma because it’s an independent clause. uwu hella nitpicky. 9/10!!

here is mine:

Except for bursting into flames half an hour after takeoff, the new airplane had flown beautifully. It was a beautiful night, too–cold and clear over the Mojave, not a breath of wind to nudge the rudder off its centerline. And Blaise Wilder was spending the calm evening in a wash, watching a firestorm erupt in the sagebrush near the crash site. Somebody wanted him dead. Staring at his own palms, blistered by heat, he had never been more sure of it.