Trash Author, Know-It-All Reviewer
- Jan 25, 2021
I've read up until chapter 7I'll be honest; I was simmering in the side, waiting to see if this would be a thread where they claim to review works and goes dead in three weeks. Turns out it's not; a rarity around these parts, to be honest.
Shiro believes he's been sent to the wrong school. Rormund Academy: home to only the best of the best. A school where only the wealthiest, smartest and most athletic students of the world reside. An establishment so exclusive even its name remains elusive to the public. Shiro exhibits none of...www.scribblehub.com
As of now, it's hovering at around <250k words. If there's anything I want to focus on, is a general rundown of anything I excelled/broke my ankles at along with how I can improve my pacing without sacrificing detail. I want to finally get a definitive list on what I'm good at, bad at, and dogshit at.
The story itself is a slow, character-centric drama piece with, well, animals as main characters.
I don't want to say furries, but yeah, furries.
Trust me, it's not on a whim I made 'em animals.
The GoodYou excel at painting a vivid image of the scene, though you probably know that yourself and/or have heard the same from others before.
Bloated descriptions will slow down the perceived speed of events, which you make frequent use of, but few feel directly out of place, at least for me. So scene pacing and level of detail are generally well done.
While I never felt directly tempted to skip a chapter to begin with, the constant tension of knowing his brutal side (thus being made aware that tearing apart any of his at times overbearing dialogue partners is a real possibility) also makes the lengthy "walk and talk" scenes a lot less boring than they could have been.
Characters, their motivations, and expression thereof in dialogue seem relatively on point.
With the sudden scene change, the protagonist's social awkwardness is introduced more organically and believable than most I've seen
The MaybeThings that I noted as primarily negative, but that I can make no definitive statement on due to
- me not having read your entire work
- some potentially falling under artistic liberty
- just being generally unsure
At first you go out of your way to show it as perfectionist, unforgiving and generally hostile.
This part has 2-3 chapters dedicated to it, which, at an average of 2k words per chapter would be 8-12 for WN standards.
Then you turn that around. This happens right around the time the focus switches from the education to the free time part of academy life, so it would make sense if the intent was to show that his condescending and aloof schoolmates are also simply teenagers in the end, who need time to unwind.
But you go one step further and subvert most of what was previously established.
If this was about his classmates putting up a front around him, they are lacking a response to his presence in their "chill" zones.
If the goal is pity points for the MC in the early parts, you should have maybe not have him comically unable to stay awake in the one area they respect that he could affect himself: classes.
If neither, I can't figure out a reason for you to make it out to be one way, just to turn it around. As mentioned before, I found the dialogue a lot more bearable than I expected from Trinary's review, but telling me that all that was for almost nothing really makes me second guess myself here.
Not to mention that the resulting image of the school reminds me of some over the top supernatural anime schools in the image of Medaka Box or similar, for which the students are a bit too sane at the moment.
While the protagonist's motivations have not been subverted yet, it's getting to a point where I think that that will inevitably happen.
In the first scene, he talks as though he sees something in being "civilized" that makes him abandon all the advantages his self proclaimed strength would bring him in a lawless context, as well as whatever he gets from fighting.
In the conversation with Justice, he is revealed to have done little in his "civilized" life except going to school and cleaning, neither of which he displays any apparent interest in. Sleeping is on that list, too, but it's not city-exclusive, nor would it explain his motivated bearing in the first scene.
Both of those issues depend on future development, though. Me not being able to find an explanation does in no way mean that there can't be, hence 'the maybe'.
Animal characteristics are somewhat selectively applied imo. Intrigued by how intense your color descriptions can be at times, I looked up wolves' ability to perceive color, finding only these two articles, which disagree on core points and give no sources, but what they have in common is saying that wolves have less color receptors and thus weaker, limited color sight. This is the downside of improved night vision, which the protagonist is said to have.
Sense of smell is also somewhat rare to be mentioned, whereas my research led me to believe that it holds a vital part in a wolf's perception.
This can of course be artistic freedom, but the different sensoric constitutions and the effect they have on everyday life would have been a fun thing to touch imo.
The MC's mention of humans stumped me a bit, as the first remark in the auditorium seemed rather off-handed, making me think that he had some familiarity with them, even if not personal, whereas his meeting with Justice goes into a slightly different direction, stressing how rare they are.
The existence of people who's feral equivalent came to be through selective breeding in the real world, like dogs or well-endowed diary animals, are also a mystery to me, but not in a negative sense by any means. Just perhaps something you could use in your worldbuilding if you haven't already.
The BadYou have a (to me at least) somewhat inconsistent narrative voice. Perspective shifts fluently, between an external narrator and Shiro for the most part, but also others. This, alongside the use of brackets in prose are relatively minor style issues, though, just something I wanted to mention.
Punctuation can also be a bit strange at times, especially with how it affects pauses.
With the comma just before the climax of the sentence, you break of the crescendo the sentence builds up. Might just be nit picking, though.Then a voice exploded from behind, with a very distinct, Northern accent, shouting out loud very clearly and pronounced, “LEO!”
I struggled to fit the following into a general topic, but couldn't find one, so I'll point this out as a singular issue.
You start chapter 5 with a foreshadowing segment. A snapshot of an inexplicable situation near climax, followed by a rewind and the events leading up to the initial scene.
But with the general hostility Shiro experiences, being held at broompoint does not feel too out of place. If he had been having a nice day surrounded by curious and friendly classmates, such a situation would have been immensely intriguing, but with things as they are, it's just a slightly more physical approach than the last few.
Not to mention that in the almost 2 chapters that happen in between, two entirely unrelated but more novel events take place.
By the end of chapter 6 I wasn't thinking "Oh god, it's finally happening", but "Huh? Right, that existed"
PacingWhile from personal experience this is not nearly as big an issue as I expected it to be from TheTrinary's review, I'd say some of the above mentioned in the context of redundancy could be cut. Provided of course they don't hold meaning that I simply missed.
But as I'd assume you're not looking for advice for rewriting your story a second time, I'll try to give some general impressions, even if those will turn far shorter than otherwise.
The easiest, as far as description of details goes, is to look for repetition. If words or phrases need to be present in a few sentences in short succession, those sentences might require a second glance. Chances are they can either be combined, or one excluded.
Though if I count those occurrences, cutting redundant phrases would amount to 5% reduction at most.
This next one is a bit vague, but perhaps try to put more into one scene? Of course there is an upper limit where things just get confusing for the reader, but currently you have large scenes dedicated to single concepts and ideas. You do that in some cases already, but in nine out of ten it's either his abyssal attention span, sleepyness or the scorn he receives.
I don't know how you plan your writing, but if you make a list of "things to be shown in the chapter" perhaps make some per scene instead?