Free First Chapter Feedback

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
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I could use the feedback so here it goes.

First thing first, let me just say I loved reading this. Would not keep reading, but this was the happiest reading something I've been in a long time.

Why is that? This was almost identical to the first thing I ever wrote (except for the rapey bits) when I was sixteen for my first book. Prologue, all the same elements, pretty similar writing style. So it was oddly nostalgic.

But on to the substantive critique. Basically you have a good sense of excitement and pacing to your writing, but you have a removed and extremely unpolished writing style that is a drag to read. Let's just go through the first paragraph:

Very deep in the dark forest, a blurry figure was running fast. Behind said figure were another four giving chase in close pursuit, getting dangerously closer by the second, like a pack of hungry predators chasing down their prey. Looking in detail one could draw the picture of a young girl, dressed in long ritual garments. Breathing quickly and panting heavily bordering on exhaustion, and desperately trying to lose her pursuers. Following her footsteps right behind her, four men armed with knives and swords.

Very deep in the dark forest, a blurry figure was running fast: Passive

Behind said figure were another four giving chase in close pursuit, getting dangerously closer by the second, like a pack of hungry predators chasing down their prey: "Said figure is redundant. You are already juxtaposed. Passive. clunky passing on the gerund/simile.

Looking in detail one could draw the picture of a young girl, dressed in long ritual garments. Extremely detached in an in the moment action scene. Just describe her, don't stop an action scene to use pastoral establishing language. Also, the hell is a ritual garments. Paint a picture for your audience. What does it look like if you feel the need to describe it. I wouldn't structure it like that. Start with an action beat and fill out the first paragraph and then in the second paragraph take a step back to describe the things we need to understand the scene. Form and function.

Breathing quickly and panting heavily bordering on exhaustion, and desperately trying to lose her pursuers: Read what you wrote

Following her footsteps right behind her, four men armed with knives and swords: once again read what you wrote. And minor stylistic note, don't open with a prep phrase on high pacing. It slows it down. If the action is getting complicated and the reader may not follow, then throw that crap in there.
Would not keep reading.

I like the setting and I don't think I've ever seen a web novel do the Norse flavor, but the writing was generally pretty confused. To the point that the places where you took risks and made it work, I just kind of ended up assuming those were mistakes and not an intentional subversion of form. If nothing else, the one thing I always say is to not get lost as to what's being said.
 
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Yi_San

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
58
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8

Hi..i am a new user and i am writing my first story.
I am setting background for my story in first chapter. Tell me if it is worth anything? The story's pacing is different. Quick transmigration and reincarnation genres.mc won't possess anyone's body.(that's my plan)
 
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Bartun

Friendly Saurian Neighbor
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
286
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78
First thing first, let me just say I loved reading this. Would not keep reading, but this was the happiest reading something I've been in a long time.

Why is that? This was almost identical to the first thing I ever wrote (except for the rapey bits) when I was sixteen for my first book. Prologue, all the same elements, pretty similar writing style. So it was oddly nostalgic.

But on to the substantive critique. Basically you have a good sense of excitement and pacing to your writing, but you have a removed and extremely unpolished writing style that is a drag to read. Let's just go through the first paragraph:

Very deep in the dark forest, a blurry figure was running fast. Behind said figure were another four giving chase in close pursuit, getting dangerously closer by the second, like a pack of hungry predators chasing down their prey. Looking in detail one could draw the picture of a young girl, dressed in long ritual garments. Breathing quickly and panting heavily bordering on exhaustion, and desperately trying to lose her pursuers. Following her footsteps right behind her, four men armed with knives and swords.

Very deep in the dark forest, a blurry figure was running fast: Passive

Behind said figure were another four giving chase in close pursuit, getting dangerously closer by the second, like a pack of hungry predators chasing down their prey: "Said figure is redundant. You are already juxtaposed. Passive. clunky passing on the gerund/simile.

Looking in detail one could draw the picture of a young girl, dressed in long ritual garments. Extremely detached in an in the moment action scene. Just describe her, don't stop an action scene to use pastoral establishing language. Also, the hell is a ritual garments. Paint a picture for your audience. What does it look like if you feel the need to describe it. I wouldn't structure it like that. Start with an action beat and fill out the first paragraph and then in the second paragraph take a step back to describe the things we need to understand the scene. Form and function.

Breathing quickly and panting heavily bordering on exhaustion, and desperately trying to lose her pursuers: Read what you wrote

Following her footsteps right behind her, four men armed with knives and swords: once again read what you wrote. And minor stylistic note, don't open with a prep phrase on high pacing. It slows it down. If the action is getting complicated and the reader may not follow, then throw that crap in there.

Would not keep reading.

I like the setting and I don't think I've ever seen a web novel do the Norse flavor, but the writing was generally pretty confused. To the point that the places where you took risks and made it work, I just kind of ended up assuming those were mistakes and not an intentional subversion of form. If nothing else, the one thing I always as is to not get lost as to what's being said.
Thanks for taking your time to read and give your honest feedback! No wonder why few people read my story. I'll try to polish things and improve! Thanks a lot!
 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
718
Points
108

Hi..i am a new user and i am writing my first story.
I am setting background for my story in first chapter. Tell me if it is worth anything? The story's pacing is different. Quick transmigration and reincarnation genres.mc won't possess anyone's body.(that's my plan)
Would not keep reading.

Congrats on your first story, but I only made it through like a page. The writing is super rough and it's at that unfortunate level where it actively hurts enjoyment. You're clearly a foreign writer so I know that has to be frustrating, so by no means is this an insult. Keep trying.
I’d like to thrown down the first chapter of my entry to The Second Tempest Contest, if I may

Would keep reading.

That was quite good and I have no substantive critique to give.
Hii,
I am here again. Not for me..
My friend is currently writing a story 'The abondened hero of earth.' I felt very good about it. There are three chapters up to now. And i feel this story is not like usual. He is new too. Can you give a feedback for his first chapter?
Ummm I'm not going to critique a story the author doesn't want critiqued. Unless it's being put out as a professional product like self published or something, I just don't' feel comfortable like that. Not unless I only had positive things to say.
Would you please give a thorough review of my short story? Btw the whole "novel" is basically a collection of short stories which have no connection to each other. So, just read the chapter of the link I sent you.

https://www.scribblehub.com/read/328355-cgrs-weekly-short/chapter/357099/
Well I guess "would keep reading" isn't appropriate for a short story, but I loved.

It might not play to site like this, but at the same time in terms of relative quality it's perfect for a site like this, if that makes sense. Big thumbs up, keep up the good work.
Don’t hold back…
https://www.scribblehub.com/read/335126-under-the-tower/chapter/339234/

Personally I would rate it 6-7/10…
Would keep reading.

Started out pretty strong and then dragged a bit because I wasn't entirely sure what the purpose was. I was weirdly more invested in the bird hunting deer than anything with the soldiers. I'm assuming it was a framing device to set up the human conflict/story, but it didn't really sell me on that so much as having a fun little adventure with the bird.
 
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DevilPogoStick

Active member
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Dec 12, 2020
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Planning on rewriting a few things before continuing this but give it a shot if you like!
 

Jemini

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I am seeing these types of threads now, and thought I would pitch my stories so far.

Both are Isekai stories, so these "first chapters" are the death chapters. Kind of like a prologue, but they are also meant as a hook as well. Don't worry, I didn't do any lazy "truck-kun" nonsense.



And, just for the pure fun of it, how about I also post up my world bible for the 1st series? If the world bible itself, which is essentially an entire series dedicated 100% to info-dumping on another series, gets a "would continue," then I must be doing something very right.

 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
718
Points
108
I am writing my second novel. The first was a bloody mess (and still needs plenty of editing).

Feel free to massacre my first chapter on every aspect: https://www.scribblehub.com/read/122602-the-saga-of-erik-the-unyielding/chapter/122603/

Personally, it feels mediocre, I wouldn't keep reading. But I don't know how to improve beyond this point.
I'm in the middle on this one, as weird as that is for something so particular.

I appreciate the massive attempt at style, and really for a start this short, that's all there is to judge it on. But I don't think you nailed it. I pulled out my copy of Beowulf to compare since that was pretty clearly your inspiration here and the big difference I see here is an extreme repetition of short phrases. You'll often have the tempo breaks every three to four words and that makes for some annoying reading. Too choppy.

Planning on rewriting a few things before continuing this but give it a shot if you like!
It's a no just on quality of prose. Fundamentals need work.
I am seeing these types of threads now, and thought I would pitch my stories so far.

Both are Isekai stories, so these "first chapters" are the death chapters. Kind of like a prologue, but they are also meant as a hook as well. Don't worry, I didn't do any lazy "truck-kun" nonsense.



And, just for the pure fun of it, how about I also post up my world bible for the 1st series? If the world bible itself, which is essentially an entire series dedicated 100% to info-dumping on another series, gets a "would continue," then I must be doing something very right.

Would keep reading Key to the Void. (I'll probably come back and do the other two later).

That was a solid start. It felt a little frantic in the pacing which may be do to comments, but it works nonetheless and you have all the component pieces there that should be. Only the one critique really. I quite liked the character being a grandfather, weird take you don't see in these stories as everyone else writes 20-something stand ins for themselves.
 
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SpiraSpira

New member
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
28
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3
Sure, I'd love some feedback. It's an xianxia story, so forgive the unusual terms if you're not used to or a fan of this type of story.

 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
718
Points
108
Sure, I'd love some feedback. It's an xianxia story, so forgive the unusual terms if you're not used to or a fan of this type of story.

Would not keep reading.

This is kind of middle of the road for me as I have no huge critiques to give. The writing quality was mostly good with a few rough patches, and you had a general sense of how to build out your characters. Like, you knew on a theoretical level that you needed to build certain things up and describe them.

Where it became a slog was just the pure deluge of information. Parts were excessive, parts where not set up so I didn't understand why you were telling me this information until after you had delivered paragraphs of expository dialogue, and in large part, the sheer amount distracted from your narrative.

If someone had asked me what your chapter was about, I was a man walks around about to leave for a trip so that the author can explain the world.

Think of it this way, you took a half page to describe our main character, but instead of finding out who he is, we were told what he is. You knew you needed to build certain things up, but you did that by world building.
A new series, a new post:
Here
Would read one more chapter to find out.

This was a weird one as it's really two different things. The set up is exciting in theory but you struggle with that exciting, fast-paced action prose. Ending it with a comedy beat was absolutely bizarre as this isn't a comedy and that opening scene certainly was not.

The second half which was more strange and passive felt much more natural to you, plus that part was just inherently interesting because of how strange and out of left field it was.

Can't say much else because I can' even say what the story is about right this second. Quick word of advice, cut down on the spacing between paragraphs. They're super long.
 
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BenJepheneT

Glassworks - Philip Glass Ensemble
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Jul 14, 2019
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@TheTrinary

as promised, the first chapter for that smut I've been working on

it's a bit long, though
 

SpiraSpira

New member
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
28
Points
3
Would not keep reading.

This is kind of middle of the road for me as I have no huge critiques to give. The writing quality was mostly good with a few rough patches, and you had a general sense of how to build out your characters. Like, you knew on a theoretical level that you needed to build certain things up and describe them.

Where it became a slog was just the pure deluge of information. Parts were excessive, parts where not set up so I didn't understand why you were telling me this information until after you had delivered paragraphs of expository dialogue, and in large part, the sheer amount distracted from your narrative.

If someone had asked me what your chapter was about, I was a man walks around about to leave for a trip so that the author can explain the world.

Think of it this way, you took a half page to describe our main character, but instead of finding out who he is, we were told what he is. You knew you needed to build certain things up, but you did that by world building.

Would read one more chapter to find out.

This was a weird one as it's really two different things. The set up is exciting in theory but you struggle with that exciting, fast-paced action prose. Ending it with a comedy beat was absolutely bizarre as this isn't a comedy and that opening scene certainly was not.

The second half which was more strange and passive felt much more natural to you, plus that part was just inherently interesting because of how strange and out of left field it was.

Can't say much else because I can' even say what the story is about right this second. Quick word of advice, cut down on the spacing between paragraphs. They're super long.
Thanks for the feedback.
 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
718
Points
108

@TheTrinary

as promised, the first chapter for that smut I've been working on

it's a bit long, though
The penises?

I'll get to it tomorrow. I just did like 7 of these and need a break.
 
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