Re: Need of feedback on the difference between the first and last chapter.

#1
Well, I am a bit hopeless when it comes to recieving reviews and criticism on my work, simply because most people drop the story from the first chapter and the people who read from there don't love/like/bother/know enough to do a simple analyze or point out any mistakes on my story, hence my frustration about trying to uncover what I do wrong and what I do good. 

Simply, I would really really love if some people could take a quick look at my novel(200 pages, quite long so I don't really want you to waste your time on it just a very quick look) and point out some obvious things they think that can be-probably in the future-detrimental to the plot or my story overall etc. 

It might be asking too much, and if it really is, then forgive me.

https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/20791/six-seals

Re: Need of feedback on the difference between the first and last chapter.

#2
The best way to get organic feedback, honestly, is by simply posting at a regular schedule. You'll slowly gain more dedicated readers and eventually people who dislike your novel and are nice enough to tell you why. I highly doubt anyone will read your story just to critic it (I hope someone does, really), so, yeah, just set up a schedule, follow it, and wait and see.

You could always sign up for a review swap? A lot of new authors would be happy to read your story and review it if you are willing to do the same.

Re: Need of feedback on the difference between the first and last chapter.

#3
It's going to be a bit difficult to provide you with helpful feedback for your story. Let's start with the obvious since you yourself have mentioned it in your synopsis: Your writing style changes significantly between chapters 0-6 and 7-onward. Here's the good news: It improved significantly. There's a very noticeable leap in quality, which speaks volumes about your ability to learn and improve. Good job.

Now the bad news:
1) Chapters 0-6 are particularly hard to read.
2) There's still work to be done post chapter 7 too.

I'm not sure whether you want me to tear into the first couple of chapters, so I'll write a couple of general things that would apply to a rewrite just as much as for future stories. An oft-repeated adage is to start your story in medias res - which more or less means to start in the middle. When I did editing work, the exposé and the first five hundred words were usually enough to consider whether we'd consider a story or pass on it. Readers have even less patience.
Start with a thrilling battle, an emotional high-note, introduce some intrigue that makes the reader want to know more. One of your biggest showstoppers right now is an introductory chapter that starts with exposition for characters the reader does not yet care for in the slightest. Consider this approach, perhaps. Start with him practising his art out in the woods, maybe let him do something that isn't one hundred percent legal. That's when he notices someone watching him. He panics, runs home and considers himself saved - until a mysterious man knocks on his door and hands him an invitation. You talk about this event but don't show the reader how it happened while it would be a perfect entry point.

Apart from where you start your story, it's also hard to follow what precisely is going on. When you switch to the exposition about the Cindersnow Sect, it took me three paragraphs to understand that this was supposed to be a journal and not someone talking to another person. You're already very heavy on the exposition, consider off-loading it somewhere or weaving it into the story directly.
Let's say I'd still be interested as a reader at this point, what follows is an interaction I struggled to understand. Why did Boris attack Ubel all of a sudden? Was this some insult? Why mention that grandmother heard the slap however many miles away (sidenote, keep it to one perspective per scene)? That's what the first chapter ends on for me: Confusion. There's also no immediate narrative link to the next chapter and I don't care for the character at all so far -> to be blunt, why would I click next chapter? Let me expand on that.
Readers continue a story if they're either invested in the character or in some narrative device that drives them forward. It's very hard to invest readers in characters by having them go through a normal average situation and while withholding their feelings for the matter. Is Ubel sad? Is he putting on a front to appear strong? Get in his head and give me a reason to care. Don't tell me he felt an impact on his heart, describe to me what he actually feels. Sadness? Memories of a better time? A feeling of loss?
Readers also continue a story if they're interested in the narrative. Perhaps something happened that could open up some interesting adventure? With this line of engagement, you'll have some interesting mystery and intrigue open to the reader. If you failed to set this up, you can still use a cheap trick and put in a cliffhanger. What if the slap drew the attention of some beast? Have it roar and come closer - then end the chapter.

I'm not doing this to discourage you. It is as you said. The style changed significantly and as I mentioned earlier, it improves a lot from chapter 7 onwards. A lot of my criticisms about the early chapter could probably be solved just by rewriting it in your later style. I would still say you should start it in motion, rather than at the absolute beginning of your story. But, let's get to your later chapters and what you can do there.
Honestly, I'd say your main issue there lies in sentences that run too long. For example: "He admired how these people -with great powers and strength which could enable them to crush every normal person, with a inhuman memory that could shame the scholars who wasted their decades for exams, and with prestiges that could grant them lands with a move of a hand- still acted like a normal community and individual." 56 words in one sentence, you're rivalling the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu here. Yeah, scan your story for sentence length and split them into two, sometimes three sentences. Unlike the early chapters, this isn't severe enough to warrant a rewrite. Plus, you already got a lot better with this by the time chapter 20 comes around. As a rule of thumb, if you need more than two commas, consider splitting the sentence.
There's a good bit of progress noticeable in your writing and the quality of your 27th chapter is about on par with most other stories on here. That's the quality point you want to aim for so that your actual narrative can shine.

So, I'm sorry if this reads like a beatdown. It isn't meant as one, I'm seeing potential in your story - I really do. But you wondered why people leave after the first chapter, which is why I've tried to point out where the shortcomings are. TL;DR: Rewrite chapters 0-6 with your current style. Start in medias res, not at the beginning. Do some quick editing on chapters 7-27 to cut down on sentence length. Keep improving from there.

Re: Need of feedback on the difference between the first and last chapter.

#4
Felias Wrote: It's going to be a bit difficult to provide you with helpful feedback for your story. Let's start with the obvious since you yourself have mentioned it in your synopsis: Your writing style changes significantly between chapters 0-6 and 7-onward. Here's the good news: It improved significantly. There's a very noticeable leap in quality, which speaks volumes about your ability to learn and improve. Good job.

Now the bad news:
1) Chapters 0-6 are particularly hard to read.
2) There's still work to be done post chapter 7 too.

I'm not sure whether you want me to tear into the first couple of chapters, so I'll write a couple of general things that would apply to a rewrite just as much as for future stories. An oft-repeated adage is to start your story in medias res - which more or less means to start in the middle. When I did editing work, the exposé and the first five hundred words were usually enough to consider whether we'd consider a story or pass on it. Readers have even less patience.
Start with a thrilling battle, an emotional high-note, introduce some intrigue that makes the reader want to know more. One of your biggest showstoppers right now is an introductory chapter that starts with exposition for characters the reader does not yet care for in the slightest. Consider this approach, perhaps. Start with him practising his art out in the woods, maybe let him do something that isn't one hundred percent legal. That's when he notices someone watching him. He panics, runs home and considers himself saved - until a mysterious man knocks on his door and hands him an invitation. You talk about this event but don't show the reader how it happened while it would be a perfect entry point.

Apart from where you start your story, it's also hard to follow what precisely is going on. When you switch to the exposition about the Cindersnow Sect, it took me three paragraphs to understand that this was supposed to be a journal and not someone talking to another person. You're already very heavy on the exposition, consider off-loading it somewhere or weaving it into the story directly.
Let's say I'd still be interested as a reader at this point, what follows is an interaction I struggled to understand. Why did Boris attack Ubel all of a sudden? Was this some insult? Why mention that grandmother heard the slap however many miles away (sidenote, keep it to one perspective per scene)? That's what the first chapter ends on for me: Confusion. There's also no immediate narrative link to the next chapter and I don't care for the character at all so far -> to be blunt, why would I click next chapter? Let me expand on that.
Readers continue a story if they're either invested in the character or in some narrative device that drives them forward. It's very hard to invest readers in characters by having them go through a normal average situation and while withholding their feelings for the matter. Is Ubel sad? Is he putting on a front to appear strong? Get in his head and give me a reason to care. Don't tell me he felt an impact on his heart, describe to me what he actually feels. Sadness? Memories of a better time? A feeling of loss?
Readers also continue a story if they're interested in the narrative. Perhaps something happened that could open up some interesting adventure? With this line of engagement, you'll have some interesting mystery and intrigue open to the reader. If you failed to set this up, you can still use a cheap trick and put in a cliffhanger. What if the slap drew the attention of some beast? Have it roar and come closer - then end the chapter.

I'm not doing this to discourage you. It is as you said. The style changed significantly and as I mentioned earlier, it improves a lot from chapter 7 onwards. A lot of my criticisms about the early chapter could probably be solved just by rewriting it in your later style. I would still say you should start it in motion, rather than at the absolute beginning of your story. But, let's get to your later chapters and what you can do there.
Honestly, I'd say your main issue there lies in sentences that run too long. For example: "He admired how these people -with great powers and strength which could enable them to crush every normal person, with a inhuman memory that could shame the scholars who wasted their decades for exams, and with prestiges that could grant them lands with a move of a hand- still acted like a normal community and individual." 56 words in one sentence, you're rivalling the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu here. Yeah, scan your story for sentence length and split them into two, sometimes three sentences. Unlike the early chapters, this isn't severe enough to warrant a rewrite. Plus, you already got a lot better with this by the time chapter 20 comes around. As a rule of thumb, if you need more than two commas, consider splitting the sentence.
There's a good bit of progress noticeable in your writing and the quality of your 27th chapter is about on par with most other stories on here. That's the quality point you want to aim for so that your actual narrative can shine.

So, I'm sorry if this reads like a beatdown. It isn't meant as one, I'm seeing potential in your story - I really do. But you wondered why people leave after the first chapter, which is why I've tried to point out where the shortcomings are. TL;DR: Rewrite chapters 0-6 with your current style. Start in medias res, not at the beginning. Do some quick editing on chapters 7-27 to cut down on sentence length. Keep improving from there.


That is very insightful and no, this isn't a beatdown. I'm really really grateful for pointing out some things(Especially sentence length, I haven't considered it to be something of importance until you talked about it.) Since I stopped at a relatively unimportant and calm point, I think I will postpone some chapters and go according your advice to rewrite the first six chapters. I have some worries, but it should work out(probably.)

May I, if it isn't too much after looking at the abomination of twenty-seven chapters worth vomit, trouble you to look at the rewritten first chapter for a cursory glance when I'm done with it? I do understand a bit, but I'm also unsure about whether it will suit to what you've pointed out as readers have even less patience. 

Still, I'm grateful and thanks for sparing your time.

Re: Need of feedback on the difference between the first and last chapter.

#5
You can hit me up at the time, but I'm not sure I'm going to have the time as I need to focus on my stuff for a while. Either way, let me just clear something up: The whole patience thing is simply the amount of time a reader invests into a story before deciding whether to continue or drop out. That means if you don't get them with an instant hook, they're usually lost.
The good news is it doesn't much to make that initial impact - just have something/anything happen.