Minacia's First Chapter Feedback

FADEX

New member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
13
Points
3
Reactions as I read:
  • Synopsis:
    • 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:

  • ^
    • 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 stopped here.

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. :blob_no:

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.💖
 

IAmGuavaFruit

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
8
Points
3
Hmmm... Why not?
 

Alkareel

Cuisses de Grenouille
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
209
Points
78
Whenever you get to mine lmao, the line is long.
Pick your poison.
hdysrw is a more recent work of mine.
Loe is literally the first thing I ever wrote.
 

minacia

perpetually sour
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
527
Points
108
I might as well throw my story into the ring. Thinking about changing the synopsis because it calls to mind a video-game min-maxxer.

Impressions as I read:
  • Synopsis:
    • The first sentence sort of makes me tilt my head. What does it mean?
    • Something feels like it's missing in the synopsis... I feel like you are mainly trying to sell the setting in your synopsis, but what if I'm not very interested in the setting and I'm more curious about the plot?
    • Huh goblins and orcs are tagged. Interesting. I'm not sure this is typically my genre, but let's give this a go!
  • Chapter 1
    • I like the narrative choice of opening on the cane, drawing attention to the protagonist's situation.
    • I felt like "near-paraplegic" as a word came up really quickly. It kind of spoils some of the narrative suspense because it's such a concise word that summarizes the protagonist's situation in one phrase. Personally, I would stretch out this opening a little further and not explicitly state the the protagonist is "paraplegic" until further down the page. There's a lot you can do you show that the protagonist is disabled without explicitly saying it right at the start.
    • It's a little difficult for me to relate with why the protagonist is so exited about this game, especially when it's said that he's never owned any kind of gaming console or capsule. If he's not a gamer to begin with... is there a reason why he was so desperate to go through multiple life changes (i.e. getting a new job) in order to afford this game?
    • Huhh... bullying and a school for geniuses... I guess two things that I never really expected would go together.
    • I think I'm desperately trying to grasp some meaning out of the other details provided. What is the significance of the bullying on the overall story? What does the protagonist being bullied add to the story? What about this scene with the installation of the device with the deliveryman? I'm kind of in the school of thought that every detail in a story should have "meaning" -- and if a particular detail in the story isn't meaningful, perhaps it can be cut out.
    • I felt some aspects of this chapter felt a little info-dumpy, but maybe it feels like that to me because I personally don't have a strong investment in this type of sci-fi description.
    • Somehow, my mind keeps flickering back and comparing everything to Sword Art Online...
  • Chapter 2
    • Ryan is very expressive, but I guess I just don't understand what it feels like to be him well enough. Somehow he gives me the impression of being young, and maybe less of an impression of a "genius".
    • I really like the "What do you want from my world?" question. It's very profound and I like profound.
    • ;-; I'm a little bit disappointed in the "I want to be powerful" response. T___T I mean, I wasn't really expecting something super deep or significant or profound, but I was hoping to at least something that seemed personal or particular to the protagonist... and less.... cliche(?) I guess?
    • The "I've never had a friend" statement also gives me a reaction in the sense that I really wonder exactly how a person who go about saying this. It feels like Ryan says it relatively casually, whereas I'd expect maybe at least some more development in the story to really build up to these character features.
    • I like this conversation about Eve being able to sense players' intent
    • I felt like the character creation section was a bit dull (leaning towards wish fulfillment, maybe)
  • Chapter 3
    • So far... the story feels rather plotless, so I don't really have a hook. I feel like I'm reading Ryan just experiencing things, which I guess is okay if the reader is interested in virtual reality, but as a story I haven't gotten any sense of conflict or plot.
    • There's a lot of detail in your writing, and it's descriptive in a way that's helpful for having the reader visualize what you mean. I think this works to your favor -- since my impression of your story so far is that things lean a little bit towards the wish-fulfillment side of things (i.e. the reader wishing they could experience virtual reality/magic like this and capitalizing on the sentiment).

I kind of stopped here. I think your story is fine, and it probably appeals to a specific niche of readers, specifically people who like VR (or wish that they could experience VR). Your story seems oriented primarily around presenting a cool setting with a protagonist that looks like they will be OP (together with a cute AI character), but I don't really have a sense of any kind of significant plot or conflict. I feel like I'm just starved for some greater meaning, but that's just my personal preference in the type of stories that I like.
 

minacia

perpetually sour
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
527
Points
108
Hmmm... Why not?
Reactions as I read:
  • Synopsis:
    • Huh, feels like a novelty premise (i.e. reincarnated as a vending machine type). Will it be good, though?
    • Tags are so-so for me personality, so I don't have any special attachments to this genre. Probably not something I would ordinarily read, but let's give it a go!
  • Chapter 1
    • Some popping noise?
    • I'm feeling Invisible Dragon vibes
    • The mixture of present and past tenses is a little disorienting for me.
    • The protagonist's attitude is sort of like a bored 'blah blah blah (I've seen this before)', so likewise the tone of the story feels boring. It's balanced a little bit by some self-awareness that this is a cliche opening (plus the 9-inch dong), but it feels like someone is pressing the fast forward button while watching a re-run of some kind of TV show.
    • No status points, huh.
    • The protagonist's attitude feels... muted... (to describe it in one word, it's like: "welp") but I guess it's okay... character quirk.
  • Chapter 2
    • I don't play enough games to really find the system explanations enjoyable XD
    • It's a little too... game-y... for me, reading scrolls to insta-learn skills
  • Chapter 3
    • I feel like I'm watching a character play a game rather than reading a story.
  • Chapter 4
    • POV change feels abrupt
    • I feel like there wasn't enough buildup to do the fight scene from the adventurer's perspective. Like the suspense isn't quite there, so it's just a sudden perspective change that doesn't carry as much weight. I might recommend that you consider the Overlord strategy (if you've read/watched the series). The author spends a good amount of time getting the reader to get invested in these characters... and then kills them off for greater effect.
I stopped reading here.

I think my impression of your story is that it reads much more like you're describing a video game than a story. I didn't get much of a sense of a broader or more significant conflict (or a bigger purpose to the story), and it feels like the protagonist is just going to OP his way through being a monkey dungeon master.

There are some aspects of your story that certainly unique, and that's a strength. I think people who really like games and this dungeon master genre may like this story, so I think you've probably done those things well. That said, I would encourage you to consider thinking of ways to elevate the degree of suspense -- the protagonist feels apathetic -- to make the story more meaningful in terms of the challenges that the protagonist needs to encounter.
 

IAmGuavaFruit

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
8
Points
3
Reactions as I read:
  • Synopsis:
    • Huh, feels like a novelty premise (i.e. reincarnated as a vending machine type). Will it be good, though?
    • Tags are so-so for me personality, so I don't have any special attachments to this genre. Probably not something I would ordinarily read, but let's give it a go!
  • Chapter 1
    • Some popping noise?
    • I'm feeling Invisible Dragon vibes
    • The mixture of present and past tenses is a little disorienting for me.
    • The protagonist's attitude is sort of like a bored 'blah blah blah (I've seen this before)', so likewise the tone of the story feels boring. It's balanced a little bit by some self-awareness that this is a cliche opening (plus the 9-inch dong), but it feels like someone is pressing the fast forward button while watching a re-run of some kind of TV show.
    • No status points, huh.
    • The protagonist's attitude feels... muted... (to describe it in one word, it's like: "welp") but I guess it's okay... character quirk.
  • Chapter 2
    • I don't play enough games to really find the system explanations enjoyable XD
    • It's a little too... game-y... for me, reading scrolls to insta-learn skills
  • Chapter 3
    • I feel like I'm watching a character play a game rather than reading a story.
  • Chapter 4
    • POV change feels abrupt
    • I feel like there wasn't enough buildup to do the fight scene from the adventurer's perspective. Like the suspense isn't quite there, so it's just a sudden perspective change that doesn't carry as much weight. I might recommend that you consider the Overlord strategy (if you've read/watched the series). The author spends a good amount of time getting the reader to get invested in these characters... and then kills them off for greater effect.
I stopped reading here.

I think my impression of your story is that it reads much more like you're describing a video game than a story. I didn't get much of a sense of a broader or more significant conflict (or a bigger purpose to the story), and it feels like the protagonist is just going to OP his way through being a monkey dungeon master.

There are some aspects of your story that certainly unique, and that's a strength. I think people who really like games and this dungeon master genre may like this story, so I think you've probably done those things well. That said, I would encourage you to consider thinking of ways to elevate the degree of suspense -- the protagonist feels apathetic -- to make the story more meaningful in terms of the challenges that the protagonist needs to encounter.
Yeah, those are appreciated criticisms right there, and I can understand what you mean. Sadly, the time the story picked up was about chapter 6 or 8 where MC gets his first struggle and a little peek at why MC is a bit emotionless. I also have plans, very dark plans.

Nonetheless, thanks for the feedback, appreciate it😁
 

MapleTofu

New member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
3
Points
3
Helloo!
Could I bother you to take a peek at mine? ^^
Atm I'm trying to learn how to set up a story properly

 

TheTrinary

Hi, I'm Stephen
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
608
Points
108
Hello again. Double dips allowed?

I'm working through my first chapter on a second work I started and I'm not sure it works like I want it to. Could you let me know what you think? (Second picture below)
 

RavineAbyss

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
7
Points
18
Mind taking a look at my 2 novels?:oops::blob_hug: Really wanted to know what kind of first impressions my novels make.
 

RayVer

New member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
8
Points
1
Mind taking a look at my first novel, Just click on the picture and it will link you right there. :)
 
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