First Pages Critique and Editing Services:

The Start of Your Story Matters Most

No matter if you’re writing a short story, novella, personal essay, or manuscript, the first pages are among the most important. They are the deciding factor if someone is going to continue reading your work or put it back on the shelf. A good opening line and a good first page require careful thought and consideration. These first lines and pages set the tone for the first portion of your story. It is highly recommended and often said that the first pages critique is among the most useful!

Some people struggle with opening sequences, others struggle with closing lines. I absolutely love both.

What is My Approach to Critiquing Your First Pages?

My approach somewhat mirrors that of a full manuscript critique but is condensed. I want to focus primarily on the reader’s first impression, the effectiveness of your hook, and the power of the opener. The big questions we want to be answered are:

  • Who is this story about? (What comes later)
  • Why do I care about them/the story?
  • What do I think is going to happen?
  • How invested am I?

In addition to this, I will then look at structural problems (if there are any), and any other strengths/weaknesses relating to the five elements of fiction.

What Will I Return To You After the First Pages Critique Service?

You will receive in-line notations as well as a literary review letter. I have stated that this is similar to a condensed manuscript critique, so if you are familiar with that, this should feel very familiar. If you aren’t sure what that is, no problem

Largely I will keep track of my changes/suggestions while also summarizing my thoughts, feelings, and interpretations so that you receive real feedback from the perspective of a reader. In addition to this, if we are working on more than just one chapter, I will provide summaries of that chapter with my thoughts and feelings. At the end of all of this, I will write you a literary review letter summarizing my overarching review. The review will touch on the strengths and areas that may need improvement.

In addition to this, I will also look to point out irrelevant material (or material that might slow down the start of your work) and highlight concepts so you can avoid plot holes and inconsistencies in the future.

At the end of my review you will receive:

  • Your original first pages with in-line comments and suggestions on the areas that I see may feature problems
  • A 1-2 page report featuring more in-depth suggestions for you to consider implementing into the rest of your work, following the first pages critique.

*Please use the Write Me tab to get a quote so that we can start talking about your work!

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