RATE YOUR FIRST LINE

writing

#1

The first line of a story is crucial to hooking the reader. Does your first line hold up to the test?

NOTE: Please be honest but kind with your feedback. This is a place to leave feedback and ratings in order to help others with an aspect of their story through constructive criticism and feedback. Rude, degrading, or mean comments will be flagged and reported.

RULES:

  1. Rate the line above you on a 1-10 scale. (e.g. 5/10, 9/10, etc.) Do not rate incomplete sentences or titles.

  2. Leave constructive criticism, feedback, and/or comments on why you gave the rating you did so the author can know what they might want to change or leave the same.

  3. Post the title of your story and first line of your story. By “first line” I mean the first 1-3 sentences. Please do not post incomplete sentences. If you sentence runs over, simply post the full thing. Incomplete sentences will not receive ratings.

  4. Be kind and considerate. Honesty is appreciated, but rudeness, mean comments, degrading or attacking comments, and insults will be flagged and reported.

I’ll start us off!


Title: Thin Walls

I cannot remember the last time I saw such lifeless eyes.


#2

7/10. I like the content of the sentence, but your use of the word “cannot” is throwing me off. First off, it sounds strange to me. I’m more used to seeing “can’t”. Second of all, I can’t tell what tense the story is written to, which is bothering me way more than it should. Nitpicking aside, though, the content is very gripping and I’d continue reading if that was the first sentence. The grammar thing would probably be minor if given more sentences.


Here’s my piece of work:

Title: Lifeless

Signing the contract had been so damn easy.

Just a simple scribble on the dotted line meant that in four to six weeks, she’d be starting the process of having her own child. A child that Allison once believed would never exist.


#3

6/10 While it is really well written, I don’t find it especially grabbing - I’d probably need a few more sentences before I decide if I’d continue reading. I like the imagery that comes from “a simple scribble on the dotted line” :smile: Idk if it’s just the way I read it, but the first sentence gives me a kind of ominous feeling, like something bad will probably happen because it was too easy at first, if that makes sense? All in all, it’s a well written first few lines, but I’d need more before deciding whether I’d continue or not.

Title: The Request

There was dust and smoke everywhere and more limbs scattered around than actual people. Trying very hard not to take in her surroundings, the young woman ran, ran as fast and as hard as she could.


#4

6/10 The beginning is a little descriptive and hard to take in. I know the first line is setting something up. Maybe a war setting, apocalyptic, etc. But I think the last line needs to be first. The sense of urgency is there with that line. You can build up with the first two lines after establishing that she is running. Based on the way the writing is structured, I didn’t want to read on until I got to the last line. If you had that first, you would have a more solid hook. So it could be “The young woman ran as fast as she could. There was dust and smoke everywhere…etc”

Title: Patience
Millie peers out through the thin layer of filth at the street scene below her. Black parasols float over the crowds of Petticoat Lane Market like rain clouds.


#5

I specifically used cannot because it throw it off. The entire story is edgy and it’s not supposed to completely make sense. Also, you would be able to tell the tense if you read on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.


#6

7/10, I enjoy the opening sentence and descriptions, but it doesn’t read hook me in. I feel like ‘Petticoat Lane Market’ is a bit too long of a name and actually makes the sentence hard to read, personally. I am assuming the ‘thin layer of filth’ is on a window, but you don’t actually say that and if this is your first sentence then there is no context. I am making an assumption, which usually a reader shouldn’t do in the first sentence of a book, where you should be setting the context.

Title: Lucas

A small black ball flew quickly and stuck himself under an old man's walking stick, making him slip on the ice.


#7

I guess Petticoat Lane Market might be a little long to read, but it is/was an actual place in London. Close to the Spitalfields in Whitechapel borough. I’ll probably mention the area in another paragraph.


#8

9/10
I really like it. It brings up a lot of questions. Also himself? itself, maybe?
But there is the hint of humour I like. Just thinking of an old man slipping, cane flailing. Not funny if it actually happened, but in the story I say we can laugh, lol.


Title: The Moon Distant
No longer the servant of the moon, but a loyal subject of darkness.


#9

8/10 Intriguing. It brings up questions but it sounds a little cliche in my opinion.

Title: Human

Asleep. They were all simply asleep. Or at least that was what I told myself as I walked down the street.


#10

Title: Human

Asleep. They were all simply asleep. Or at least that was what I told myself as I walked down the street.

8/10 I would definitely keep reading but the word “simply” kind of takes away the emotion that could be in that sentence. The word “just” would make it sound more desperate like the character is really trying to convince themselves that everyone is asleep. Overall very interesting though!

Title: Bad to the Bone

All my life I’ve been showered with praise and approval.


#11

Title: Bad to the Bone

All my life I’ve been showered with praise and approval.

This sentence makes me immediately think that the protagonist is stuck up and will possibly be annoying to read about. However, the title makes me think that this was intentional. If the reader is supposed to dislike the protagonist a bit this is a great way to start, if not you may want to start with something a little easier to empathize with. This sentence does fit in nicely with the title and does its job so I’m going to give you a 7/10. Good job.

Title: Incandescent

Before pinks and golds could taint the night sky the birds woke early to a gust of air and the sound of peddling. A cyclist whipped through the streets with nothing but the fading stars for company.


#12

I appreciate the feedback! The character isn’t really trying to convince themselves of the fact, just observing.


#13

I think it should be pedaling, not peddling. It confused me for a second. I am not sure why you need the first sentence, unless your story is about the birds observing the life in the city. The second line is pretty self contained, and brings in the same idea, plus introduces the protagonist and is active. You can say ‘fading’ stars to give an impression of the early morning.

Stellar Cruises:

The alert went off in Vera’s ear, drowning out the energetic beats in the training arena. “


#14

Thank you for the feedback!
I will get right on fixing that typo and take your other comments into account.


#15

9/10
I’m curious to know what the alert is, which would of course keep me reading. It drops us right into the story. There aren’t any fancy lead ins. I like when stories do that. I don’t really find any fault in it, other than maybe to state what sort of alert it is, but I’m sure that was probably followed up in the very next sentence.

Title: Blade Song

A smile spread across my lips as I gazed across the large snowy field that was to be our future battle ground.

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than deep crimson on pure white?


#16

9/10.

Very strong opening line due to the darkness of the idea. The MC is already controversial because they’re glorifying death and seemingly getting enjoyment from it. Good job here.

From - “THIS IS NOT FOR YOU.”

She enjoyed the thought of rough sex more than the reality. I would make sure to remind her whenever she’d bring up the idea – “Always curious, never realistic.”


#17

8/10, this is a bold line to start with and clearly establishes the tone of the book well. I like the mystery of who she is, and the quote “always curious, never realistic” is a really cool way to start it!

Backseat Drivers:

Before the neon, they were on a road - free of artificiality and intoxication.


#18

Very Lordean. There was a nice touch with “before the neon”, it’s a very efficient piece of blocking and production design, but “they were on a road” is a little tame for a follow-up – no voice, no indication of tone, and it calls attention to the unorthodox structure. “…free of artificiality…” is a tell which should be a show (which would make this a paragraph and not a sentence but still) and it strikes me as rather artificial itself. I really want to like this because you’re doing something fresh but I feel like it needs refining to shine. 5/10.

Title: The Three Deaths of Brunhilde

Kylianna gripped her blood-soaked sheets and screamed into the near darkness.


#19

Thank you very much.


#20

Thank you :slight_smile: