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I put all the warning tags to give myself creative freedom, but I'm not going to write a story filled with gore or swearing.
This is my first time writing, other than for school projects. I put the gender-bender tag because I wanted to try writing from a female's perspective, and needed an excuse for why my MC reads a little tomboyish. The gender-bender fades into the background over the first few chapters, please don't let the tag keep you away from trying out my story.
Second chances are rarely earned, and even rarer given. Follow a new life in a new world, where anything is possible. Our MC wakes up, stuck as a baby, needing to decide how she will live her new life. Let's see what future she can forge for herself, when hard work is rewarded with status points and skill levels.
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Decent comfort story.
As of around chapter 80, it felt like it was finally unfolding into the wider world and moving toward an actual plot. Instead, the next 25 chapter feel like a training arc before the hero sets off on her journey.
Like most webnovels, the pace has become very leisurely. There are no big stakes for the MC, no important struggles. There used to be some, but all conflicts were easily resolved in her favour in the end. Every chapter contains a decent amount of progress, and the progress feels earned. The author knows how to use timeskips to keep training arcs from being boring. We see the highlights of the MC practicing, training, researching for months at a time and it is good, casual fun.
The most annoying thing used to be that there were 24 additional chapters on Patreon which the author never added here. Now, the author has returned, released all the chapters, and written and released more.
Below is a the copy of what kosnike said on Patreon before the hiatus. If you are wondering why this review has so many upvotes, it’s because kosnik4 never told Royal Road readers about the hiatus.
That said, I failed you guys.
First off, it needs to be said I paused payment for July for everyone, so you won't be charged tomorrow.
I'm taking a long look at what I want to do going forward. Writing Magic-Smiting just hasn't felt exciting as it once did. I used to think about the story twenty for seven, trying to think up new ideas on what to write, but now everything feels like a chore rather than fun like it used to.
I'm thinking about starting a different story, one where I plan things out better beforehand. That doesn't mean I'll completely stop Magic-Smithing because I know what it's like when an author drops a story so many people are invested in, the updates would just be sporadic and probably posted for free.
I've learned a lot since I started writing, and objectively speaking, my plot isn't that well fleshed out and my characters are pretty two-dimensional even though they're liked. I've tried to force character growth without any lead-up to it, and it's causing me to put out these clumpy one-off chapters.
My friends and family are supportive of my writing but every time they ask me where I get my inspiration from, I dance around the subject because I've been essentially pulling everything from the top of my head since this story began. And since my writing has improved, I noticed what that means for the content I put out.
I would love to say I could fix my current characters, but that would require me to essentially rework the entire story, which would require me to rewrite over a thousand-page book, and I doubt I could force myself to do that. Plus, I doubt people would want to wait for that kind of revision.
This dilemma hasn't done anything good for me mentally, which is why I left everyone in the dark and tried to pretend like I could ignore my problems, which I know isn't healthy for many reasons.
It's you as the readers that gave me this opportunity, so it's only right I ask for your opinions going forward.
Would you give another story a chance, or are you only here for Magic-Smithing? Would you read a story of a different genre, or are skill-based story's your thing?
Please give me your 100%, brutally honest opinions.
Again sorry for the silence, I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe, and thanks for putting up with me for as long as all of you have.
So, if you enjoy a slow story with an semi-overpowered protagonist that is generally either training or slice of life? Read. Enjoy.
If stilted conversation and character interaction is a no go for you? Stop, do not enter. Yet.
I haven't been able to spot any aggregious grammatical errors. There is an occasional wrong word or punctuation, put I'm not the grammar police and it generally rolls right by.
I love the story and the story concept. The title sucked me right in, it promised to be exactly what I was looking for, and has generally succeeded in delivering. It seems simplistic at times, but I didn't follow because I was expecting Malazan. I followed for Magic-Smithing. It is slow though. Don't expect to be traveling about the wider world, even 100 something chapters in. We're still in the protagonist's village.
Style and character. The story takes its biggest hits here. I'm combining the two because the only real tethering I have in the world is its characters. As far as the village most of the story is located in, I would confidently place 3 buildings on a map. That's all. After 100 chapters in this village. There is little spacial awareness for us, the audience. This doesn't bother me much, but says something about kosnik4. They think in terms of location and the plot marches from key location to key location with characters and seemingly ignores all else. With this being the case, I would expect absurd amounts of character development--in their interactions and dialogue. This isn't quite the truth. In my own writing attempts this is definitely where I am weakest, and kosnik4 is as well. Quick pit stop: this is improving over time. Even now, however, strange and inconsequential interactions occur regularly, but in any other story you might think them important. Reactions are alternately over and underwritten. You wait for the payoff from one interaction and...it never comes, the character in the interaction doesn't even show up for 20 chapters. This is the major flaw of the story. If the author can find a way to shore this up--even a moderate amount--this story would be fantastic.
As of now, it is fine, often even good. I look forward to the author making it great.
I personally love the story and would love to see how it plays out, however, the author has now gone on two long hiatuses, the second of which they haven't come back from yet, with zero communication nor feedback as to why.
I get it, the author has their own personal life and isn't a puppet made to follow the whims of the readers but leaving the story in limbo with no word of if the author will ever come back, and if they do for how long, it is hard to want to keep up and follow the story.
Hopefully the author comes back from hiatus, I love the story and reccomend it, but let this be your heads up for reading this story.
Not that I'm the best reviewer in terms of giving an "unbiased" rating and serious cirtique instead of just whatever praise or recommendation I feel most appropriate, but I feel like I have to be more critical in how I rate this story for the sole reason that I feel like it deserves more than just mere praise. Since the Author seems to be fairly "new" as these things go serious critique holds value that pure encouragement can't. Plus all my reviews are pretty glowing and I want to be a better reviewer that can say more than just a blanket "this gud" for some of my favourite stories.
This story has several flaws that were im,ediately obvious. First off is the story blurb, the "synopsis" that advertises the fiction. It's basically not even there. It's a long spiel about the author's motives and choices spanning four paragraphs and then a small elevator pitch at the end that tells me basically nothing. Frankly I can figure lut more about the story from the title and genre tags alone, and it arguably doesn't even have all the appropriate tags since it doesn't mention (though it's so obvious it doesn't really need to tbh) that the story is isekai/portal-fantasy in another magical world.
(Short aside, spilling your motives and reasonings up front like that isn't exactly a bad thing, and I'll just say that I've read one or two books with some psycology trivia that might even suggest it could easily garner loads of goodwil and tolerance and create a space of "trust" etc etc. this is getting off topic)
When you start reading the book you get the first chapter (the prologue basically) which has some of the issues prologued usually have (quite understandible, I blazed right through it no prob) such as not immediately being compelling to read, loads of (utterly pointless to the story) exposition, none of it really being important to the story at all, jumoing around from the "present" time to the "past" (the prologue story is the past, and time hopping is usually a bit problematic since it's hard to avoid it being awkward). Finally my last complaint is that the backstory protagonist is rather bland and even has a very predictable mentality and reaction going into the story proper with the (pretty mich cliche) reaction of "oh no! What have I lost! I mourn the thing that I have lost and it took me super long to figure out even though anyone who's genre savvy will know it was super obvious. These are anime archetypal tropes 101 stuff here.
Going into the story proper you learn quickly that the book is very character focused, and not all that plot focused. The story takes its time to get to the next big plot development and tends towards slice of life rather than "skipping" lots of "growth". When I first caught up to the latest chapter, the MC hadn't even gotten to doing even themost basic kind of thing that was alluded to into the on-the-nose title of the book, only the things needed to do the things to learn how to do the thing. It's a patient book is my point.
Now since this is acharacter focused slice of life story that likes to take it time, the most annoying flaws would be character and dialogue focused flaws, since those are given the most page time. The characters and interractions are, quite frankly, very high quality for a first book attempt. The are thecore that keeps the story engaging to read through 21 (as of now) chapters. My major complaint for what should be improved is the character interactions is a bit "awkward" at times. Like two puppets talking to each other and reacting as if from a pre-written script instead of having a normal reaction time to process what others say and what to say in reply. This is not a thing easily described, or conveyed, but I feel it is there and needs some practice in improving.
In terms of the plot there isn't much to say, because there isn't much. This story doesn't rush i to having a lot of plot development, and what has happened feels like it's only scratching the surface about what the plot will actually develop into. What I can say is that the author isn't scared to disrupt the status quo of the story, and does so quite rapidly and effectively at times. Sudden developments that heighten the tension between characters and create various kinds of conflict big and small, silly and serious, social and existential. This story knows how to hold it's patience but doesn't keep itself from pulling on it's strings and dragging you along without warning. Much of the conflict is short lived and the tension can quickly lower again within a chapter or less, which means events happening a few chapters before are quickly left behind for new things to focus on and to hold your attention. The plot is young and lively, amd I'm inclined to let it go at it's pace and let big things happen when they wanr to.
Overall I'd say this story thrives in its small moments. It doesn't need a grand plot or danger to be compelling and interesting, and its characters have personality and dynamics enough to be engaging even while their portrayal can be awkward at times the depth of their character shines through. This isn't a story that needs tension and drama to keep itself going, and it changes to regularly to become uninteresting or fatigue you with prolonged action scenes or miments of tension and uncertainty.
I'd highly recommend this story to any slice of life fans, and it has joined my list of favourites on this site. It has a long way to go, and it's writing has large room to grow and improve, and I look forward to seeing it continuing into a grand story.
I like this story and I had fun reading it. That is of course the most important part.
But the story has multiple flaws.
First the author makes a great deal about the gender swap at the beginning and leads into an identity crisis. But then it gets completely swept under the rug. Later there is a sentence about getting her period but that's it. There is no exploration at all what it could mean to switch gender in that way, or the role of gender in the new world.
That leads to the next point. The world building is very very shallow. We are over five hundred pages in the story and haven't even left the village. That is no problem. The problem is I have no idea at all how the village looks. I don't know how large it is, what buildings there are, what craftsmen. There is no picture at all.
And the characters are even worse. The main trait of all characters seems to be they are afraid of MCs mother. They have no individual voice. The MC doesn't know any person in the village. At all. As an adult person she didn't recognize the village head. I assume the author grew up in a city. But in any community you could describe as village you know everyone of your generation and half the adults as well.
The dialogues sound unnatural, but to be fair it gets better the longer the story is.
Then there are the unnatural reactions. Nobody pales or panics or goes red in the face because of the simplest of reasons. It really throws me off to read that the head of the village goes pale because MCs mother glares at him.
All this sounds very, negative but in the summ I still had fun reading, even if I had to ignore some flaws, and that is what counts in the end. The author grows with the story too, so I have hope the coming chapters get better.
5.11.20 upping my rating to 4 stars, the writing continues to improve.
.. and the story has begun moving, segueing over the last 10 chapters or so into the wider world. Imagine if you will the picture in a microscope, one slowly changing to show the larger picture and then coming to a halt focused on said wider view. So from the completed microcosm of the Village; the immediate surrounding region has come into focus.
I have so far enjoyed this story even though (and maybe because) the story has been so slow in moving past what should be in the first part of a story. Maybe (probably) all good slice of life type stories are the same?
Style & Grammar..
I am not on the whole a fan of the writing style, I personally think it needs a lot of work. That said, the overall technical writing quality has though in my opinion, improved noticeably from the early chapters till now at chapter 70.
The Story is the story. To me it is a question of what one makes of the mental constructs evoked by absorbing the tale. I personally found the pausable movie in my mind to be highly enjoyable. So disregarding any technical issues with the writing, the story which I have,.. absorbed so far shows great promise to my mind, it tickles some part of my mind if that makes sense.
-- @ kosnik4, Keep up the great smithing/crafting btw, it is what originally drew me to your story. --
Yeah not a fan of the MC coming across as an actual teenager now and then (outside of having to try faking it like one) when she should mentally be a 20 something, to a 40 something in technical life experience. This has been an issue throughout the story so far. From my pov it is made worse when one takes into account her mental stats which reinforce this fact by hard numbers from the start, along with every other subsequent time that the MC's stats are gone over. (as I see it the deviation makes the mental stats not seem relevent due to this behaviour/mental state/attitude)
As for the other characters, they seem fine to me and fairly natural, better then the MC for sure.
..The promise is strong with this one..
Thx for sharing your work in progress with us all btw ;)
I don't think this story is nearly as good as other reviewers seem to think.
The worst issue, in my opinion, is in the way it's written. The style itself is... weird. A lot of punctuation is missing, especially in short dialogues interactions. Some sentences are a bit convoluted, but more importantly, the lack of variety in the vocabulary makes the overall story difficult to process. Sometimes, you'll have multiple paragraphs telling the same thing, using a lot of words for simple concepts.
The grammar is okay. A few accidental typos here and there, but they are few and far between. Punctation is a part of grammar, though, so the score goes down to four stars.
Story seems... decent, so far. It's hard to judge it, considering not much has happened. The world building is pretty good.
I hate your characters. Most of them feel like NPCs from an MMO. The MC is never seen having any kind of meaningful interaction with anyone, and when she is, it's just oversimplified emotional overreactions. But, most importantly, she's immature. I can't blame you for that, since it's a trope. Still hate.
Aoverall, it's an okay story, leaning on the side of good if you compare it to the average for RRL.
My advice is to read more high quality books. More to the point : spend less time having your MC talk to herself, and more time having her speak to actual characters. For said characters, try to draw inspiration from real people. More importantly, take the time to think about what's important, and what's not. You spent more time describing the taste of beef from the weird bear monsters, than the feeling of frying goblins. That's an issue.
All in all, not for me.
Currently my favourite story on the site. Subtle world building done with a show don't tell attitude and litrpg goodness galore.
The main character does not act like a boy in a girls body in anyway after this first few chapters. Often using her femanity to cajole and minipulate to get her way and acting girlishly. The only reason for the genderbend appears to be to justify the MC being slightly tomboyish in their interests and not wanting to be pigeon holed to a female orienated occupation. Not sure living life previously as a boy was required to have those traits. The most powerful character we have been introduced to is clearly some kind of female soldier so the author even seems to agree with me. I don't really get it.
I suggest readers just ignore the first few chapters pretend the mc was always a girl (their actions make so much more sense that way) and enjoy an otherwise great story.
Magic Smithing is one of those stories with many flaws, but it sucks you into the world. The main character has excellent characterization in terms of her new world. (It was an isekai gender swap, in the beginning, it probably should be edited out since it isn't explored much.) Grammar is readable with occasional errors that I found I could ignore.
Now from chapters 5 - 55, this story is impressive. Style is heavily focused on the MC and her development, including her character sheet. There are wholesome moments with her family and relevant conflicts. Style-wise, this was great! I paid into the author's Patreon for several months.
Then the low story score comes into play. The plot had significant momentum, excellent conflict balancing, and the main character had a mix of progression in smithing with progression towards becoming an influential person in her world. It focused totally on the main character. To me, it is the good stuff.
It didn't last. The author's outline (or vision of the initial premise) had been written with no end in sight. The story hit some hiatuses and came back with long chapters/scenes from other character perspectives. I didn't enjoy this shift in focus. The five-star style took a hit.
While the author tried, it never came back together. I loved the majority of this story, and I wanted to review it and let the author know, "Hey if you did it once, you can do it again. Make sure you have an outline."
It was a great story before it fragmented.
Reincarnated into another world, but with a good set up and quality characters. I like the developement of the characters and the people that populate the world.
The MC has a good character voice and I do enjoy the loving relationship thier parents and family has.
The nitpicks. (some spoilers)
- A knowledgeable mother who lived in a city and has an education, not teaching the MC about the world they live in, even though the MC is about 13 Earth years old.
- The MC not even knowing many people in the village she grew up in, but everyone knowing who the MC is.
- Basically the MC is supposed to be smart and inquisitive, but they know nothing about the world they grew up in. Even basic history, religion, or having freinds with other children.