Free First Chapter Feedback

KuanMigo

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Nov 30, 2021
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3
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Would not keep reading.

You start by playing up a very normal thing in the most extreme way possible to the point that I became confused if it was a normal thing. It's hyperbolic right?

And then you have your Mc just telling us stuff about their life. We don't find anything out on our own. We're just spoon fed information in the first person.

It levels off and improves with the cat since it's your premise and far more interesting, but it doesn't save it for me.
Oh, I see the flaw now of the first half of the chapter. Thanks for the feedback!
 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
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Nov 23, 2020
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Pst. Can ya give my shameful excuse of a story a hit?

Would keep reading.

This was nice. It's one of those stories that's so nice I'm a little disappointed when it turns into portal fantasy. Which, credit where credit is due, is a really good thing for a site like this. Good job.
 

Teona

Member
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Oct 25, 2021
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Hellooo, would like to have your feedback on mine! thanks!

 

Deeprotsorcerer

Skeletal Eromancer
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Aug 24, 2021
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331
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108
Would keep reading.

This was nice. It's one of those stories that's so nice I'm a little disappointed when it turns into portal fantasy. Which, credit where credit is due, is a really good thing for a site like this. Good job.

Thanks Trinary! Sorry for being isekai trash, the genre is just really fun.
 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
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I was originally planning to publish this in scribble hub right away. But I don't want to publish something that is doomed from the start. This is my first novel after all, and one that I wrote on a whim. I'd be honored to know what you think about it.
Would not keep reading.

Some of the basics are a little off. You had some tense issues. A lot falls into the show don't tell area. Quite a bit a dialogic was stiff and exposition-y.
Here we go again (for the fifth time lol). Almost forgot about the thread on one hand. On the other, I was wondering if you're still doing this, so yeah.

Haha. It's been so long I can only vaguely remember doing the other ones, but you've perfected your craft in some ways. It's still not literary, but if someone asked what standard, easy to read web novel prose looked like, this might be my go to.

I will say that my one frustration was the disconnect with it being a sequel. You did a little bit to establish what happened before, and it seems silly to hold you up to the level of a professional novel, but if a scene is predicated on what happened in a another work, you really need to be blunt and up front with that. You were almost too artistic dropping hints?

Generally, if its another book write it so someone who hasn't touched your work in a year can understand.

The earthquake and all were false memories implanted by the Temple of Recollections.

Others, like Hikari, started getting vague dreams of the things that did happen. Some manifested in uplifting dreams of getting saved by people with magical weapons, while others got recurring nightmares of the shadow hands.


What was the conflict? What were they trying to do? Trying to stop? You are focused on the fallout (which may or not have been covered) but you still need that quick one or two sentence summary to ground the audience.

And I realize it's a somewhat unique problem since I haven't read what came before it, but in my experience people have short memories. If they're picking up something they read six months ago, there is going to be holes in their memory which is why its such an industry standard practice.
Hellooo, would like to have your feedback on mine! thanks!

I feel like we've done this before. I regardless, would not keep reading.

There were some tense and clarity issues. It was readable but could use some work there. The bigger issue I had was with the authorial voice. The entire opening is just your MC being very stiff and speaking directly to the reader: Let me tell you stuff. And he's a little robotic.

He then becomes downright annoying when he's talking about three years ago. It feels like bragging. I mean, he's literally bragging in some parts, but my point is that it's not motivated by anything. You set up this scenario of him working from home for two paragraphs and then we jump in time and location for the sole purpose of this guy to brag. Not even fun bragging. His voice comes off so stiff that I don't get the impression that he is even self aware.

So this flashback is not motivated by anything. It's just flat exposition.

So I'm going to make a suggestion solely with the elements you have (not saying this is idea): You start with him working. Stakes. Some big project or something he has to get done. But he can't get it done because he has a mental block or whathaveyou. So he heads outside to do some exercise or training. And at that point you have him flash back when he's mimicking what happened three years ago.
 
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Motsu

「Author | Editor | Programmer | Gamer | Chess」
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Jun 24, 2020
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Free real estate. Try looking at my stories' prologue and see how bad you think about them.
 

EternalSunset0

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Nov 7, 2020
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I will say that my one frustration was the disconnect with it being a sequel. You did a little bit to establish what happened before, and it seems silly to hold you up to the level of a professional novel, but if a scene is predicated on what happened in a another work, you really need to be blunt and up front with that. You were almost too artistic dropping hints?

Generally, if its another book write it so someone who hasn't touched your work in a year can understand.

The earthquake and all were false memories implanted by the Temple of Recollections.

Others, like Hikari, started getting vague dreams of the things that did happen. Some manifested in uplifting dreams of getting saved by people with magical weapons, while others got recurring nightmares of the shadow hands.


What was the conflict? What were they trying to do? Trying to stop? You are focused on the fallout (which may or not have been covered) but you still need that quick one or two sentence summary to ground the audience.

And I realize it's a somewhat unique problem since I haven't read what came before it, but in my experience people have short memories. If they're picking up something they read six months ago, there is going to be holes in their memory which is why its such an industry standard practice.
Yeah, I wanted to "avoid info dumping" but looks like it ended up being too vague. I think that's a unique problem with my format since I am trying to imitate actual serials' release schedules instead of writing the thing as a webnovel. It's an amateur work, but I write it and plan it like I would do for something like say, the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings-like books where there's one book released every year or so (in my case, it's around four to six months) that has self-contained plots that slowly build towards a finale.

But then again, web novel and physical novels have different consumer habits, so I'll be sure to consider those next time. Thanks a lot for taking the time to give short feedback.
 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
783
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Yeah, I wanted to "avoid info dumping" but looks like it ended up being too vague. I think that's a unique problem with my format since I am trying to imitate actual serials' release schedules instead of writing the thing as a webnovel. It's an amateur work, but I write it and plan it like I would do for something like say, the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings-like books where there's one book released every year or so (in my case, it's around four to six months) that has self-contained plots that slowly build towards a finale.

But then again, web novel and physical novels have different consumer habits, so I'll be sure to consider those next time. Thanks a lot for taking the time to give short feedback.
I totally agree. It really is a unique problem with your format. And there are books that don't do it. I guess if it's really a question if it works or not. I know the modern trend is to include some of that grounding, but there's no need if you are confident the reader will remember your work a year from now with crystal clear lucidity.
 

Alfir

The Inventor of Words
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Aug 11, 2021
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207
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58
Can you see mine... I am pretty new to this, but I want to know if my 1st chap can incite curiosity
Meanest Mob
 

KaiArgenti

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Jan 26, 2022
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8
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1
Rip me a new one (please don't).
 

Ultimatedaywriter

New member
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Jan 21, 2022
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3
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1
Well I was just suspended from my job today I could use a review.

 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
783
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133
here you go baby lemme know how bad it is

Let's just go over some things.


Cael. It was the region to the south, largely incorporated with the vast scenery of the canyons. 1) At some point, I forgot about its existence until the moment I rose from within that fortress. 2) The final clue to the whereabouts of my missing family was finally revealed. 3) Cynicism often spurred from time to time, but I had to go there. To that Kingdom.

4) At first, I was carefully looking out to the citizens and the many buildings inside of it. 5) Whenever I am communicating with different people, the thought of my family's whereabouts sometimes leaks out in my mind, but they always reply with an immediate "I don't know about that person".


In Order:

1) Just kind of nonsensical. Take "at some point" out. And otherwise I feel like it lacks grounding. You technically can 'rise from within a fortress' but it sounds goofy without context. Also "That". What is that fortress? Cael isn't a fortress. Or is Cael not the region? Then you have juxtaposition issues.

Try: It stood in the region to the south, largely incorporated into the vast canyons– Cael. I forgot about its existence until the very second I dusted myself off from within that (adjective) fortress.

2) Huh. Too vague. I was about to discover or I had discovered. The lack of agency in the verb makes it feel like we're discussing something already established.

3)No clue. What kingdom? You keep saying "that thing" without establishing what it is. Is Cynicism the kingdom? Is it Cael? If Cynicism is a feeling, what does it have to do with anything.

4) Once again, lack of foundation. The last thing you were talking about was a kingdom which the VP clearly wasn't in. Are we back to the fortress? I guess fortresses can have villages in them, but maybe you should describe that and set the scene better because even that isn't clear.

5) Tommy Wisseau levels of awkward phrasing.


My advice would be to work on your writing.
Can you see mine... I am pretty new to this, but I want to know if my 1st chap can incite curiosity
Meanest Mob
Would not keep reading.

I didn't hate it, but if your entire game plan is to do a clever meta commentary, you have to have something to say or some wit to add. It's not enough to be self aware, you actually have to comment on the thing you're aware of. Meta is a tool to create jokes or observations, it is in and off itself not premise or a joke itself.

Take your worst offender: The isekai genre is far and wide involving original works and fan-fics. It is a gift from human creativity that allowed numerous writers to allow themselves to be more involved in the story. This is also true for the many readers that craved heroism, villainy, and that slice of life that reminds us of how colorful the world truly is...

What do I, the reader, get out of this? This is just a dictionary definition. Anyone reading a meta work should already be familiar with the subect matter, so we don't NEED this explanation, and the explanation offers nothign on its own.

This is the sort of thing a clever person would use to do something clever. Like, here's what I would do:

"The isekai genre is far and wide original works and fan-fics. It's a glorious gift from human creativity where numerous want-to-be-writers pretend that getting magical powers or existing some place else would change them as a person. You can already go to the gym and get muscles that will allow you to do a whole host of new activates (instead of sitting inside all day like a shut in). You expect me to believe you are going to put in the back breaking work of memorizing spells? As if."

A little douchey, but gotta go with how you feel. Both paragraphs contain the same literal information, but one provides commentary and humor and one seeks to accomplish nothing.

So I guess the take away is that stories need to tell us things.
Rip me a new one (please don't).
Would not keep reading.

In many ways, this is a new experience for me. Good or bad, I always GET what's going on. Even when I get the most inane trash, I can see the template and the influences the author was going for and puzzle it out. But I'm a little lost. And I want to be clear on this point, the only issue is the clarity of story telling.

So a character is sleeping. . . and there's way more flowery language than what you write with elsewhere. And you establish that he isn't dreaming. But also he isn't in his own bed, which I assumed he was waking up in another world or someone else's body or something. And he even thinks "Whose bed is this?" So this reinforced these ideas.

And then he wakes up. And it becomes clear he has been transported some where. He was in Janku. But the person at the door KNOWS him, and he knows her. So. . . huh?

And the dialogue and interaction between them works. You have personality in their interaction, but that's all overshadowed by being lost.

And then reverting. So. . . he normally jumps into. . . a normal world.

Do you see where I'm going with this. We don't know who our MC is as a person. We don't understand their relationship with the other character. We sure as hell don't know where he is. The only plot goal is to get dressed and get down stairs early on.

Then it gets weirder because you have this future/ medieval thing going on. The only thing I can think of is a West World kind of experience, because it can't be a video game. Why would you start a video game waking up and taking a shower. Why would that shower be modern.

So once again I point out my frame of reference, we have eighty disparate elements in play here, and I have no clue what's going on. I could keep going but let's call it quits because it doesn't get better.

You need to ground the reader in something, anything. One single element has to make sense so that you have a foundation to build from. You can even do a bait and switch. You think it's x type of world or story but wait, it's not! But you still have to establish the bait. I just don't know with this one.

I wish I did it for my web novel read along on Youtube. That shit would have been fire trying to decipher this live.
Well I was just suspended from my job today I could use a review.

Were you suspended after showing them this?

Anyway, on to the work. Hm. Indeed. Hmmmmm. I REFUSE to give this a rating. But uh, sure is full of surprises. In terms of sheer oddity and how hard it goes, I'm sure it's filling someone's niche. I guess that's all I'm willing to say. It's commendable how committed and out there you are going for. Like, I'm never going to knock pure creativity in any form.
 
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Gryphon

The One who has the Eyes
Joined
Dec 10, 2021
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395
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63
I'm wondering if you can give me some critique on my first chapter whether you like it or don't. I want to spice it up a bit and would like some ideas as to what I could do. I don't know how to do that box thing with the cover and synopsis, so I'm just going to post the link: My Succubus Roommate.
 

CubicleHermit

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If this is still open,
(and thanks folks who helped me make the synopsis a little better.)
 

Homuro

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Feb 3, 2022
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5
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I wouldnt mind ya taken a look at my first chapter and sharing some thoughts and pointers! I can always use feedback to improve.
 

bokhi

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Dec 30, 2021
Messages
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8
Not sure if you're still doing these, but if you are, I'd love it if you could take a look at The Stormcrow Cycle.

Even if you're not still doing these, I'd like to say kudos to you for contributing to the community! Thanks! =)
 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
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Messages
783
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133
I'm wondering if you can give me some critique on my first chapter whether you like it or don't. I want to spice it up a bit and would like some ideas as to what I could do. I don't know how to do that box thing with the cover and synopsis, so I'm just going to post the link: My Succubus Roommate.
Would not keep reading.

It's structured well and it's written fine on a technical level. It's just the humor and presentation didn't work for me. It's pretty juvenile. Listen man, humor is subjective and there are only so many ways I can say I didn't find it funny.

The one thing I didn't like was the bait and switch opening. It was pretty clear what was going on and I'm not sure what it adds. For something that reads like more of an overt comedy. . . maybe start with a joke?
If this is still open,
(and thanks folks who helped me make the synopsis a little better.)
Sure why not. Would keep reading.

You are clear and you put a lot of your personality in there. Like, the bit about Civ was cute, I got exactly what you meant. It was almost a complete aside but at least you're actively doing something. And you have some fun and unexpected world building decisions and nothing was particularly offensive. So a genuinely positive experience.

The one bit that bothered me was the MC being brought into all this secret stuff and even coming along to a secret meeting. You really need more of a justification than "why not." Maybe just a line how the friend asked for MC to join and was surprised when they gave him whatever they wanted? Needs something. Because at the point that the government is involved, you have to assume some sort of logical procedure AND explain why everyone doesn't know.

Oh and having the MC be the friend to the normal isekai protag is fun and interesting. Humble I guess?
Could you take a look at the first two chapters and tell me if the change of location (He hops worlds) is too jarring? Thanks.

Out of this world
Would keep reading.

On to the specific question. Yes it is jarring. The initial premise and promise have nothing to do with portal fantasy. it's commendable when people take the extra effort to build out their stories and create a fantastical world, but it puts a greater burden on the writer to make the transition from one world to the next clean and sensible. Remember, your audience is expecting this sci-fi/magic story and we don't know about the "Flame magic" enough to understand that what's happening isn't normal and it's killing him.

It wasn't horribly clear the MC was dying. Why would the MC think he was going to another world? Things like that. I didn't go all the way through Chapter 2, but just skimming the start, I feel like all your issues could be resolved by just rewriting the ending of Chapter 1.
I wouldnt mind ya taken a look at my first chapter and sharing some thoughts and pointers! I can always use feedback to improve.
Would keep reading.

Generally interesting with a sense of excitement. You do however have a major technical issue with keeping your tenses straight– especially during scene setting.

"Sweat was beading on my forehead, the sun high in the sky. It was a little past noon if I had to guess. Just a few more hours of this and I will be done for today, I assured myself. My hands were calloused from all the work I did in the fields, my hair cropped short and my slender build well toned, although I was only strong and not very athletic. I've been working in the fields since my grandfather took me in following the death of my parents.

"The village I live in is nothing to write home about, it's a rundown town on the furthest border from the Capitol. Mostly outcasts and families labled as non-essential lived here. Non-essential meant you had no real talent for magic and you were useless in the eyes of the people who dispensed worth to the masses. Everyone who lived here was poor, with no real means to support themselves, so we worked the fields to feed our families.

Not sure if you're still doing these, but if you are, I'd love it if you could take a look at The Stormcrow Cycle.

Even if you're not still doing these, I'd like to say kudos to you for contributing to the community! Thanks! =)
Would keep reading.

This was very, very good. It's one of those where it looks like the person publishing it wants to be a professional writer/ wanted their work formally published. So I'm going to critique it on that level and hopefully provide some helpful advice why it's not quite on that level for myself.

So three things: the MC and the prose and the grounding.

1) The MC is a bit distant. I know what you're thinking, we're in their head quite a bit! She tells us so many things. . . kind of.

"The man was going to die."

. . .

"Ba’an watched the blond man bleed. Gut wounds were a terrible way to die. If she had arrived even a minute or so sooner, she could have likely saved him from that fatal blow.

If she had wanted to."


You establish a fact, AND THEN you tell us how Baan feels about it, or reacts to it. I could pull up any number of paragraphs to reitterate this point.

"The road was relatively new, though one would have never guessed it with the way it looked. Here the illustrious empire had built one of their cobbled roads through the sand, but the desert could only be delayed, not defeated. Sand often blew in and covered the stones, and the carved red cliffs that marked the start of K’Avaari territory loomed over it, a constant reminder of just whom this stretch of desert really belonged to."

Fact: The road was new.
VP: Illustrious empire built this road.

Same information. And once the fact is established, you reestablish it with the personality put in. Your writing would be so much stronger if you nixed the plain factual bits and let us experience the story with your MC.


"Ba’an watched the blond man bleed. Gut wounds were a terrible way to die. If she had arrived even a minute or so sooner, she could have likely saved him from that fatal blow.

If she had wanted to."


That's the opening line to your story right there. But hey let's pump it up even further. DECISIONS informing character, not just opinion or observation. So let's try:

Ba'an watched the blond man bleed. (some descriptor giving us a picture of the wound. Puncture. Slash. whatever it was) Gut wound. She had arrived in time to save him from that, if she wanted to.

Boom. Now you're opening paragraph establishes just as much information. Establishes character through their view point. And has them ladled with a decision, hooking the audience right away and getting them to read on to answer that question.

2) Prose. This is far more technical, but a lot of the writing felt very YA to me, only to find that wasn't what you were going for at all.

3) The grounding. Stories need relatability. Context. You have an exciting little tiff in the desert. . . but why should I care? Especially since a lot of this is presented as the MC passively watching two unrelated parties. The fact that she involves her self at the end is nice and the proper punch to the chapter, but you need one sentence– literally one– establishing why this has nothing to do with her and establish why she has something better to be doing.

You have the internal struggle nailed, but that becomes more of an academic exercise when it's not grounded in reality. It can't just be MC in the desert watching a fight. Mc is in the desert because it's her job to (fill in blank). She stops despite knowing she shouldn't, and then things progress.

Everyone can relate to getting side tracked from responsibilities. Not many people can relate to impassively watching people murder each other for no apparent reason.

Alright that's all I got. Let me know if you want any clarifications.
 
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