Friday, October 14, 2011

Last Line Critiques...

For our readers, by our readers... 
We had many incredible last line entries for critique this week—Thank you all for participating—But it’s impossible to critique everyone’s last line in one setting, so I’ve randomly picked three. But Lorelei, Carrie, Kristen, and lbDiamond, I am saving yours and will post them in next month for review. Stay tuned.

Today, we would like all our readers to provide constructive critiques for our participants.

Below are three last lines from Anna, Elaine, and Allison. Thank you ladies for sharing your work. Next Friday, the Heather, Linda and I will provide our critiques.


Set up: YA Contemporary. Ruby, 18, is a fangirl in a certain graphic novel fandom. She and a friend post an amateur video on their website that goes viral. Ruby has just watched the video (again) after learning the success of the film.

Last line: A shift has taken place and if I’m ready or not, that fan video represents the nine minutes and thirty-eight seconds that changed my life.

Elaine Lowe:

Ok, this is the last line of the first chapter of a book I've been struggling with one and off for 18 months, while finishing 3 other books.

It's 1888, Emelia has left her family home in Maui to start a bakery on the Big Island in the cowtown of Waimea. The first man she meets has charmed the socks off of her. (but it's complicated...)

last line of Chapter 1:

"Emelia had never thought she would be married. That a man would really choose to spend his life with her. There were so many other beautiful, exciting, exotic women in Hawaii. Felipe was all she could have asked for, and more than she ever expected."

Allison Duke:

I'll give it a shot. YA fantasy: Taniya works in the royal stables where her stepfather Daret is the master. Her mother is ill, so Taniya rides her mother's horse in the annual festival parade. Throughout the parade and festival, she is torn between worrying over her mother, drooling over the handsome prince, Kanar, and dreaming of one day being one of the King's mounted warriors.

Last line of chapter one:

As Taniya made her way back to the pavilion that had been set up for the horses, Daret’s groom came running toward her. “Taniya!” he cried. “Come quick. A messenger came for you and Daret. Your mother is worse, and she needs you!”

Thanks to our readers for your participation. 

XOX Karlene


  1. These are going to be so much fun to critique! I can hardly wait to hear what our readers think.

  2. They are great. I too can hardly wait to hear the comments.

  3. The 1st one pretty much sums things up, and you want to find out how it does change her life.

    #2 This one is a little hard to grasp, having not read what came before. Some last lines are like that.

    #3 This gives readers that moment in the beginning where obviously something has happened and you do want to turn the page to see what happens.

  4. #1- Yes, I would certainly turn the page! (not so fair for me to critique, here... crit partner and all that.)

    #2- It's very prettily written, but it resolves a lot, almost like a happily ever after in the first chapter. Could you add a twinge of what was complicated, to make me curious?

    #3- Chapters that end on a turn of events or introduce a messenger always keep the pages turning. If you want to make it even more exciting, leave the ending with "Come quick-" and we'll want to know why.

  5. Lorelei, Thanks for your comments. I'm really looking forward to critiquing them too. Coming Friday.

  6. Kristen, thanks for your comments. Any ideas how to help number two not make it so happily ever after and more curious?

  7. #2 Maybe if she gave us a sense of "why" she thinks no one would want to marry her. Is she flawed?

    #3 I agree with Kristen. Move the "Come quick" to the end and it will have more impact.