- Aug 24, 2020
Reactions as I read:
- I like the synopsis (and crossdressing <3) and it reminds me of in-print books that I used to read. It's well written and I feel a desire to click!
- Though out of curiosity, how do you switch yourself out with your twin sister when it's clear the body double will die?
- Tags: <3 Josei, Androgynous, BL subplot, conflicting loyalities, conspiracies, enemies become lovers, kingdom building
- Chapter 1
- Pretty title. Love the first sentence. Why so few favorites?!!
- The switch back and forth between third person narration and addressing the reader ("you" statements) distracts me. I stumbled a bit on the first few paragraphs, especially since you're asking the reader to grasp a pretty complicated political plot straight away as soon as they jump in.
- The sentence structure is a bit convoluted and complicated. To highlight an example:
I stopped here.
- Readability suffers when the syntax is complicated like this. Moreover, this is a comma-splice. While I think there is a temptation to write with beautiful language, I think it's important to keep clarity in mind (particularly on opening chapters) or else you'll lose your readers before they're invested in the story. Additionally, words tend to fly through the readers head without really sticking.
- This is a fascinating situation on a high level perspective, although Sir Rodholf's behavior sort of causes me to scratch my head. Everyone should be well aware that their kingdom has fallen, so his urgency/gravity seems confusing to me.
- Characters seem to fall along archetypal lines, and their reactions feel little bit too predictable/stereotyped. Essentially we have a noble queen and loyal knight saying exactly what you would expect them to say at the eleventh hour.
- Oh, the sister lost her mind.
- Wait, this is a harem novel? XD
- I guess I'm curious. Onto the next chapter!
- I think another thing is that I feel like you hold the reader's hand through a lot of thematic elements. It's not necessary to explain everything. Sometimes leaving things unexplained and opened-ended is a powerful way to deliver theme rather than explicitly explaining the symbolism of specific word choice.
- Chapter 2
- Ohhh... starting with a timeskip... Sometimes I tell people that if the story is going to start with a timeskip so early, is it really that necessary to start the chapter at Chapter 1? Why not stop the story at Chapter 2? Is there something essential about the first chapter that can't be explained or covered later? (either as a dream or flashback or fain references to the past?)
- I like the start to the chapter a lot. It's engaging and I'm intrigued.
- Ohh... she used to be a peasant. But that seems inconsistent with her model queen behavior (holding the constitution in her hand) in the first chapter.
- I'm interested in the plot xD This development!
- Chapter 3
- Huh... that's quite some ambition to raise a heir.
- I guess one thing that I haven't completely processed was why it matters to struggle so much to restore one's kingdom, rather than living peacefully incognito ^-^ This is especially the case since the MC doesn't seem to have been born as royalty, so I feel like she should have weaker attachments to her bloodline. Why does reviving Orse matter?
- I like how you gave the kidnappers a more understandable motivation and a bit of a sympathetic personality. They seem less like cannon fodder stock villains (which is very common in other stories)
- MC is extraordinarily calm, but maybe that's just her personality
- Chapter 4:
- Not much to comment
- So far the MC is sort of being carried along, which is a little bit less compelling in terms of plot/agency, but I'm waiting for something to happen!
- Chapter 5:
- Why crying?
- Huhhh, interesting turn of events.
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- I feel like a lot of words pass by before anything happens. For instance, it's better several chapters now talking about the sister and various other things. Perhaps the pacing is a bit slow for my taste.
- The direction of the plot feels a bit roundabout to reach this conclusion of placing the MC in the harem. It makes me wonder if it was strictly necessary to bring the MC to the convent before taking her to the harem, or if it would have been faster to start the plot by taking her directly to the harem.
- Chapter 8
- Feels like a bit of a reversal and Oris is now sympathetic to a stranger. I think for me, it still kind of conflicts with the premise that she desperately wants to restore her kingdom, because I'm not sure she can afford diversions like this.
I think the writing is good and you have good narrative style. I have no major issues reading your story (aside from a little bit of hiccups in the beginning), and I think your story is nicely detailed.
I can't really pinpoint the reason, but I don't feel that strong of a motivation to keep continuing. I think part of it may be that the plot/pacing is somewhat slow and there isn't that much urgency. It feels a little bit like we walked in a circle without really going anywhere.
For instance, it's clear almost from the beginning of the second chapter that the main conflict of this story is the MC confronting Hermes and somehow regaining her kingdom. The loop out of the convent felt like it didn't achieve very much (in terms of narrative weight), other then giving her a reason to go. In a sense, it kind of reminds me those linear "Go to Point A" "Then go to Point B" "Then go to Point C" type story structures, which is a bit bland. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be a strong conflict/resolution in this first mini-arc.
For instance, if we imagine your story as this types of plot diagrams, I feel like the conflict/tension has sort of... smothered... for the past couple chapters. It doesn't feel like the protagonist did anything to overcome the first hurdle, and she sort of just experiences it.
Oris's personality confuses me a little and I haven't grasped her character entirely.
Anyhow... don't take this feedback too seriously.
I'm actually kind of grasping for straws and it's difficult for me to identify specific criticisms. All I know is that I feel a little lukewarm and I'm not entirely sure why. Your writing is beautiful though.
Thanks for the feedback (it's awesome feedback so don't worry). The story is pretty roundabout, even I know that. I'm writing for fun and I literally write chapter by chapter. I'm pretty glad you stopped where you did. The story isn't really draggy, but it's not rushing anywhere which I'm sure would lose me a lot more points, lol. I wrote with the intent to take my time to flush out the story so things take time.
I also didn't sit down to move things from point 'A' to 'B', it's more like I put all the characters in a petri dish and letting them create the plot. That's probably why you had no motivation. Progression is really linear and there is information the reader doesn't know that would otherwise explain Oris' lack of of 'action'.
The convent scenario, for example, is not for the purpose of getting Oris to the harem, it's for the purpose of letting her meet Eve who becomes very important in the long run.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REVIEW.