Re: First Chapter Swap

#3
Since you've already given feedback on my novel's first chapter, maybe it's my turn to give mine (though probably not as in-depth as yours).

TL;DR: the quality of your first chapter is good but terrible hook.

Spoiler :
I assume you meant Reaper's Game. Technical-wise, there's nothing wrong with it. Good pacing, grammar, style, etc. Maybe a little bit lacking in characterization and awful font choice (there are good reasons why websites use sans-serif), but that's just me nitpicking. My complaints are subjective, but they should be helpful.

There are two problems: the premise and the lack of twist. Your premise is basically a normal girl who was forced to play in a death game. I don't know why you pick this genre, but I think the popularity of it has fade away, so you need to put extra work in that. Not to mention, your mc is bland. She offers nothing special in her. It's so cliche. Maybe it could work in YA novels, but people don't come here to read those.

Related to my first complaint, I think you played the trope too straight. I thought there would be some twists in the end. For example: turns out the mc has experienced the death game before, so participating the death game is just for her amusement. Unlike other media, at least there must be a twist in the early chapters or at least in the blurb to make the readers interested and read the next chapter.

Not really related to your first chapter, but you should strive to present your story more unique and memorable. A simple formula would be, "It's a story about x, but (insert the twist here)." Again, I've no difficulty when reading it. It's just too... basic. I personally would still keep reading it though just because.

Re: First Chapter Swap

#6

Hathnuz Wrote: Since you've already given feedback on my novel's first chapter, maybe it's my turn to give mine (though probably not as in-depth as yours).

TL;DR: the quality of your first chapter is good but terrible hook.

Spoiler :
I assume you meant Reaper's Game. Technical-wise, there's nothing wrong with it. Good pacing, grammar, style, etc. Maybe a little bit lacking in characterization and awful font choice (there are good reasons why websites use sans-serif), but that's just me nitpicking. My complaints are subjective, but they should be helpful.

There are two problems: the premise and the lack of twist. Your premise is basically a normal girl who was forced to play in a death game. I don't know why you pick this genre, but I think the popularity of it has fade away, so you need to put extra work in that. Not to mention, your mc is bland. She offers nothing special in her. It's so cliche. Maybe it could work in YA novels, but people don't come here to read those.

Related to my first complaint, I think you played the trope too straight. I thought there would be some twists in the end. For example: turns out the mc has experienced the death game before, so participating the death game is just for her amusement. Unlike other media, at least there must be a twist in the early chapters or at least in the blurb to make the readers interested and read the next chapter.

Not really related to your first chapter, but you should strive to present your story more unique and memorable. A simple formula would be, "It's a story about x, but (insert the twist here)." Again, I've no difficulty when reading it. It's just too... basic. I personally would still keep reading it though just because.

Sure. . . .

The thing is, I'm going for something in particular. The things are the way they are for a reason. So how do I make it work in its own right? Good writing is good writing. A well written trope that has been done to death can still be good, even if the hook bleeds into the masses.

Is the only thing its missing is character? Maybe just punch that up? Because I feel like there's something else I'm missing. 

Re: First Chapter Swap

#7

StgBria Wrote: Hey, 

So I was looking for a really in depth critique on my first chapter of a new thing I've been making Like really rake it over the coals and dissect what's up with it so I can figure out why it doesn't work.

In exchange, I'd be happy to look at one of your chapters.
Quick note, the "Reaper's Game" link in your signature takes me to my Dashboard, instead of to your fiction page

Re: First Chapter Swap

#8
The first thing I did when I opened the chapter, was mess about with the options, to try and fix the font. It's painful to read. Such strongly serif fonts are so annoying to read on a screen, unlike in print. And the bold "Title and date" at the top is even worse.

The first sentence already confused the heck out of me. "The blurring scream, high pitched and wan, from alarm it did come from." It looks like another language entirely, not english. The words are in the wrong order. The sentences are hard to understand. It makes me think a person (maybe our main character) is alarmed, and therefore screaming. Plus, I have no idea what "wan" means.

"The world did ring, did come from, a boy did say, she did so jog", why not just use present simple.

Articles are missing everywhere. The rhythm, the phone, a book, the teacher's voice, the cacophony. I guess this was done on purpose, because of counting syllables. But it reads like there are big mistakes at first. So many rules are broken "for effect", but I don't think it works. 

"Timba, the drums go cold." what does this even mean? Timba? Also, I-phone is spelled iPhone. I thought the "I" meant "me", followed by a dash-interjection. Had to reread the sentence a couple times.

The 3rd paragraph is missing a period at the end. 

"As she sat across from Pat, the man who joined her mother now, she sat and stared in groggy fog." -> As she sat ..., she sat ...? This makes no sense to me.

All in all, to be honest, if I just clicked on a "Take me to a random story" button to get to your story, I would stop reading after the first sentence or paragraph, it felt that unreadable. Only when I came back to the forum did I see that your english is actually immaculate (in this thread, for example). This confused me, so I went back, and only then realized it was like purple flowery poetry, written in a strange manner on purpose. Even so, it's difficult to read. I lasted for several paragraphs and just skimmed the rest.

I don't really care for rhymes and artsy writing. Other readers might, but probably only a minority. It's not the quality, but the style. The specific style is so overwhelming that I can't even tell if the writing is good or isn't. I just know my eyes and brain don't like reading it. Makes me feel dumb. 

Re: First Chapter Swap

#9

Ararara Wrote: The first thing I did when I opened the chapter, was mess about with the options, to try and fix the font. It's painful to read. Such strongly serif fonts are so annoying to read on a screen, unlike in print. And the bold "Title and date" at the top is even worse.

The first sentence already confused the heck out of me. "The blurring scream, high pitched and wan, from alarm it did come from." It looks like another language entirely, not english. The words are in the wrong order. The sentences are hard to understand. It makes me think a person (maybe our main character) is alarmed, and therefore screaming. Plus, I have no idea what "wan" means.

"The world did ring, did come from, a boy did say, she did so jog", why not just use present simple.

Articles are missing everywhere. The rhythm, the phone, a book, the teacher's voice, the cacophony. I guess this was done on purpose, because of counting syllables. But it reads like there are big mistakes at first. So many rules are broken "for effect", but I don't think it works. 

"Timba, the drums go cold." what does this even mean? Timba? Also, I-phone is spelled iPhone. I thought the "I" meant "me", followed by a dash-interjection. Had to reread the sentence a couple times.

The 3rd paragraph is missing a period at the end. 

"As she sat across from Pat, the man who joined her mother now, she sat and stared in groggy fog." -> As she sat ..., she sat ...? This makes no sense to me.

All in all, to be honest, if I just clicked on a "Take me to a random story" button to get to your story, I would stop reading after the first sentence or paragraph, it felt that unreadable. Only when I came back to the forum did I see that your english is actually immaculate (in this thread, for example). This confused me, so I went back, and only then realized it was like purple flowery poetry, written in a strange manner on purpose. Even so, it's difficult to read. I lasted for several paragraphs and just skimmed the rest.

I don't really care for rhymes and artsy writing. Other readers might, but probably only a minority. It's not the quality, but the style. The specific style is so overwhelming that I can't even tell if the writing is good or isn't. I just know my eyes and brain don't like reading it. Makes me feel dumb.
oops I guess I should have been more specific. The first chapter not the prologue. You do bring up a good point though in that I probably need some direction how to read it. It's iambic pentameter and is probably really aggravating if you don't read it that way. 

Re: First Chapter Swap

#10

YAK Wrote: Sure. Here's my story and I'll review yours in ret


Okay so first chapter. 

I really, really love the starting idea with that repetition. Had to do a double take to make sure it wasn't a mistake, but that was very clever. BUT, I'm not sure it works as well as it could. The single repetition is odd. I think you should stick to the rule of threes here and do it three times. The second time can build more, and then the third one can launch into your actual scene setting.

Also the inclusion of lust is an odd choice and I'm assuming that has something to do with the tone or content of your story. If that wasn't your intention, I'd swap it out for something else. 

There needs to be more explanation of how she manipulates gravity than, she can do it. Like, not the scientific explanation, but the rules, the mechanics. Is it just mental? That's all I can think of. Like if she has total control, how does she tell something to go up, to go down. To stop. If it's mental, why is it a glove? Does she have some sort of chip in her head?  I immediately think of the second chapter of Way of King which is all about an assassin who manipulates gravity to kill a king. The bulk of the chapter is meticulously explaining the rules and how he's doing it when he does it. You don't have to go that far, but it needs to be more than something she just does. 

I also think it felt directionless. I ended not sure what she was doing. It would be nice to have  a clear goal from the outset. I'm going into the warzone to kill X. She mentions the "boss" at the end so I assume that's what's going on, but I would restructure this so she's always working towards that goal. It would give it more forward momentum and purpose. And once again, I have to bring up the Way of Kings as that's exactly what that opening chapter was. 

And finally, I found the meta elements grating after a certain point. It's all hero/villain or video game stuff. It was fine at first, but got grating after a while. The more you throw that stuff in, the more it takes people out of the story and reminds them they are reading something.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, I actually thought it was promising. There's a sense of action and excitement and it's all pretty well written. It just needs that grounding to bring it home and give it purpose. It's definitely one of those things you look at and see what an excellent start to a story it could be. 

Re: First Chapter Swap

#14

AngrySeme Wrote:
StgBria Wrote:
AngrySeme Wrote: I would love to do a review swap of my first chapter too! Here it is! :) 
Brimstone

How does that work exactly. You have like 6 things titled chapter 1.


Sorry, that's a good question. You can read chapter 1.1, or as far as you'd like :)
Okay I read 1.1. That was long enough to be a first chapter. I'm gaging this as the first chapter in a story, but it seems like its a sequel? Or at least not the very first thing we see. 

And oh boy, this was a trip. It's a bold choice just to throw you into it, and I personally love that kind of story telling.  We start weird and surreal and I really like all of the world.

I think its well above average, but I did find some issues. This felt like a good chapter two. We never get a sense of Santos (who I'm assuming is the protagonist) or a sense of normalcy that gets interrupted. We start within the inciting incident rather than letting the inciting incident happen. That would let you pump up those characters a bit more, and establish the school a bit more.

In my case, the whole school was clearly jarring with the overall world and didn't make any sense, and I wasn't even sure which character was good or bad. You would think the greek was good, but the environment is so wrong and so off, that that isn't clear. And then you have the bit with the little girl acting all evil and that really muddles the issue. Who am I rooting for? Why am I rooting for?

Normally when you start a story off with a big action scene, the stakes are at least clear. The writer uses signifiers to let us know who to root for. Everything is all sorts of wrong here.


Re: First Chapter Swap

#15

StgBria Wrote:
AngrySeme Wrote:
StgBria Wrote:
AngrySeme Wrote: I would love to do a review swap of my first chapter too! Here it is! :) 
Brimstone

How does that work exactly. You have like 6 things titled chapter 1.


Sorry, that's a good question. You can read chapter 1.1, or as far as you'd like :)
Okay I read 1.1. That was long enough to be a first chapter. I'm gaging this as the first chapter in a story, but it seems like its a sequel? Or at least not the very first thing we see. 

And oh boy, this was a trip. It's a bold choice just to throw you into it, and I personally love that kind of story telling.  We start weird and surreal and I really like all of the world.

I think its well above average, but I did find some issues. This felt like a good chapter two. We never get a sense of Santos (who I'm assuming is the protagonist) or a sense of normalcy that gets interrupted. We start within the inciting incident rather than letting the inciting incident happen. That would let you pump up those characters a bit more, and establish the school a bit more.

In my case, the whole school was clearly jarring with the overall world and didn't make any sense, and I wasn't even sure which character was good or bad. You would think the greek was good, but the environment is so wrong and so off, that that isn't clear. And then you have the bit with the little girl acting all evil and that really muddles the issue. Who am I rooting for? Why am I rooting for?

Normally when you start a story off with a big action scene, the stakes are at least clear. The writer uses signifiers to let us know who to root for. Everything is all sorts of wrong here.


I am glad you find it a weird trip! It's how everyone describes my writing, a strange acid trip, haha. You do make a good point, that it is hard to establish who to root for, and I wrote the chapter with the intention that someone has already read the previous book, but for this chapter, I think I should add more info. A lot of the characters in my story are written as morally grey, very few are 100% good or evil. For instance one of the heroines is cheating on her husband...
I think I will reorder or re-write chapter one to make the the stakes more obvious. My main intention was to make the second book in the series much more action filled, with less pacing issues. A lot of my previous readers and reviewers said that it took a while to get to the "Meat" of everything.