Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#1
My book is in the writathon and I do not have sufficient exposure, so I'll make you fellow writers a deal.  If you read at least the prologue of my book, I will read one of your books' first chapters, leave a comment, and either put a like or nothing (in other words, I won't put a dislike).  Good or bad, your opinions of my story matter to me, and even if you give negative input, I will still look at your first chapter.  Deal?
Tell me what story you want me to look at.  I'll know if and when you have looked at my story.

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#2
I'll post this here first just in case. From very onset of your novel we are presented with a narrator who makes the reader aware of their presence. As a result of this, your first scene feels very much like a play, where the narrator sets the stage and then they personally take us through the scenes so that everything has this sort of patina of playfulness because, well, we're the audience looking onto the stage alongside the narrator. The narrator invites us in to see the story as a shared experience. If this wasn't what you were going for, then just ignore me. However, I found myself wanting to see more of that levity, more personality of the narrator being put into the descriptions so that it's almost like the reader can feel like they are in a room or stage together with the narrator. Now, I know that is probably going to be hard since you also have to describe your scene at the same time, but I think if you want to make it clear to the reader that there's a narrator, then the narrator should be an easily felt presence. Doing so would help reinforce the play-esque(?) feeling you have going on which would help out in creating a narrative that is more focused on levity while presenting central themes much like a typical Shakespearean play would.

...Oh yeah, I was going to mention something about tonal shift when you transition to the modern scene. I actually don't think its bad at all, but I do think you should double down on whether you want the presence of the narrator to still be felt there or if you want it to be more of a drastic shift in narration. Making it more of a drastic shift in tone could help in creating this dichotomy between the play side of things versus a more serious contemplation of what happened during the play scene.

I'm probably not making any sense and I apologize in advance for my ramblings. Good day and felicitations on your work.

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#3
Prologue read. Thoughts incoming.
Narrators can be tricky, but I honestly think the style itself is fine. I happen to love dramatic theatre-style stories, but it also makes sense for me as a dream. Dreams have wierd rules sometimes - the dreamer simultaneously being someone and watching that person, etc. - so I kinda like it so far. I agree with WithinTheStorm, though, that you may want to consider making the tonal-shift (if there is meant to be one) between worlds a little more dramatic. I thought there was a shift at first, but then he started thinking in very flowery terms again and we were back in flowing-fantasy-language. Just a wee bit confusing.
The setup: I'm an always-read-the-prologue person, but I do wonder why this was called the prologue rather then chapter one? That's pretty nitpicky, though, so moving on...
Dragons, prophecies, gems, a chosen hero... classic, and maybe a little stale for some audiences without some compelling characters to bring it to life. I immediately liked running boy, but beyond that I didn't get a good feel for any of our main players. Hopefully that's something that will come in during the next few chapters.
I'm not much of a criticizer, so these are just my quick thoughts after reading. Hopefully they'll be a little helpful.

(The Teru Effect for me, please. Not the rules chapter, though; those aren't a very interesting read.)

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#4
I posted a comment on your story, however I didn't post my story as it would've felt disrespectful of me to "promote" it in your story. The Story is I want you to read is Rei:Incarnation.

Some more thoughts about your story.
Presentation/first impressions are important. I feel that if you were to change the color scheme of the cover, make it stand out. You would draw more people. Even changing the green to a brighter color might attract people. Try raising "The counterfeit" Higher as it is a little to low. A final aesthetic note, The title blends in to well with the cover, try making it stand out. Getting that out of the way. It was an enjoyable first impression. You're introduced to the world and the character at the same time. The impression I got was that this is going to be a character driven story with the plot being basic. If there's going to be stakes like the world, I would also put personal stakes for the character. So for the first impression of the prologue alone I would give it an 8/10.

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#5
Didn't read the story, some feedback all the same:

This Story will be participating in the Royal Road Writeathon.  Come check it out before the writathon ends, because, when it does, half of the story will be gone from the site forever

This is the first thing anyone reads about your story.
If it's going to be published somewhere, say that. "Good news, it's going to be published! Unfortunately, that means I have to remove part of it from here". The way it's written now vaguely sounds like a threat - read it now because I'll remove it after the writathon - which may put people off rather than encouraging them to read it now. There are so many stories to read, why waste time with a story that's going to be gone soon anyway? It's hard for people to feel the tone of something that's written and I'm not sure you manage to convey the right emotion here. 

I also want to make a remark on the placement. You placed it before your blurb. People don't even know yet why they should read the story and you already tell them it's going to go away. I'd suggest placing it below the blurb in its own little section. I now remember stumbling onto your story before and it was an instant skip for me. Grab their interest first, then tell them that it's available for a limited time and tell people why if possible.

As for the blurb, and writing in general, try to keep a sentence down to 2 commas as a rule of thumb. This:
Through many strange encounters and unexpected perils, a curious boy, named Jeramy Billingston, is taken to one of the last havens in all Oderria, where he learns the fate of the entire land rests on his shoulders. 

is a very hard-to-read sentence. You could change it to this:

Through many strange encounters and unexpected perils, a curious boy named Jeramy Billingston is taken to one of the last havens in all Oderria. Here he learns the fate of the entire land rests on his shoulders. 

You lose or change none of the meaning and make it easier on the reader

Lastly, tenebrous.

I'm not a native English speaker, but I pride myself on having a large vocabulary. I associated it with hard to see through/hard to understand and now I looked up a definition to see if that was actually the case. It appears it can also mean 'causing gloom'. How does this apply to a group of dark sages? I think you meant something like an obscure and/or secretive group? Could you not have found a more accessible word? The blurb is meant to draw people into your story. Throwing in a word that most people will have to look up or will just ignore does not scream accessible to me. It's fine if that was the intention, but then you also have to accept that a good amount of people will skip your novel. Again, there is a lot to read on this site. Why take the time to read something that confuses you before the story even starts?

Hope this helps 

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#6
I went a head and left a comment about your first few chapters. I really enjoyed the quality of the writing. The story line seems strong enough to be interesting, but it is even more enjoyable because of the way the story is being told.

One thing I didn't mention in the comment (I just didn't think it should be there for everyone to read...) At the top, the note you wrote really turned me off as a reader. I mean, someone already mentioned the Blurb starting with a mention that the story will be gone... that in itself is a turn off (and if it wasn't for your request here in the forum), I would not even have gone a head to read the first few chapters.

But then you add in the first note that :  This book is structured to tell an important central message in a fun and engaging atmosphere and give some important morals along the way.  If you do not like learning and having fun doing it, then I will suggest you put this book down.

Again, that is a huge turn off... As a reader, I don't want to be told what I should or shouldn't do. I'm not sure why you are trying so hard to scare potential readers away. Let them decide if it is worth their time... don't make assumption about what they will or will not like. I wasn't sure at first if it was meant to be cheeky... (is it??) but personally, I would remove that note and let the readers jump in the book with an open mind. 

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#8
So your prologue shows plenty of promise and hooks you in, but I'm not sure where you're going with it. Will you be swapping between his time on another planet and the real one, or will he just be isekaied? It establishes the tone well, but I don't know what I'm getting into. You don't need to outright state it in the chapter, but I'd prefer to understand where the story will go from the get-go. This may not be an issue if your story is slow-paced, and doesn't quickly get to its premise quickly, so if it's like that, then ignore what I said.
It also has one or two cliches I'm not a fan of(has a blatantly real dream but dismisses it because 'no, that's impossible' though it may simply be needed for the story to progress naturally.
I also notice that while your vocabulary is big, your writing needs a bit more refinement and revision.
Here's a paragraph analysis for you to explain my thoughts on your writing skills:

"Jeramy struggled against a dark, cloak-like mass that closed around him. His eyes flew open as he jumped out of his bed in a panicky sweat, one foot landing on something soft and the other on something fiercely sharp.
1: you should say panicked instead of panicky.

Instantly, his feet returned to his bed as he stared down at the floor, infested with the scattered remains of old school papers, forgotten T-shirts longing to be washed, and action figures with sharp accessories. The latter two were the culprit behind his pain. His hands brushed against his blanket and he then realized this was the item he had just fought against for dear life. He glared at the bedroom window through which there shone the bright-golden glow of a summer day and his mind drifted into its usual ponderings."
1: 'instantly' is unnecessary.
2: 'accessories. The latter...' would be better off as one sentence.
3 'His hands brushed against his blanket and he then realized this was the item he had just fought against for dear life.' So he has the item? I don't get what this sentence is saying.
4 'He glared at the bedroom window through which there shone the bright-golden glow of a summer day ' is wordy. 'He glared through his window, summer daylight shined golden.' for example, would be better.

I chose this at random, but it's one of the worse paragraphs in your first chapter. Still, there are issues like this strewn all about it.

-Please read the first two chapters of Witch's Psyche. (the first one is kind-of a prologue and is really short)

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#9
Hello all, thank you for your critiques, and I wanted to give a bit of an announcement.  To anyone new to join this chat from here on, I will not be critiquing any more beginnings.  Additionally, to all who have critiqued, I wanted to state, if I have not yet given my thoughts on the first chapter of your work, please do not hesitate to make me aware.  I have critiqued the beginning chapter on the list of people I was aware of (other than you, WithinTheStorm; I'll get to you soon).  Again, I thank all who gave feedback on this forum and via private chat.  It was greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Wile

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#10

Wilewriter17 Wrote: My book is in the writathon and I do not have sufficient exposure, so I'll make you fellow writers a deal.  If you read at least the prologue of my book, I will read one of your books' first chapters, leave a comment, and either put a like or nothing (in other words, I won't put a dislike).  Good or bad, your opinions of my story matter to me, and even if you give negative input, I will still look at your first chapter.  Deal?
Tell me what story you want me to look at.  I'll know if and when you have looked at my story.

You know what, I'll just leave you a shoutout with today's chapter. Sound good?

Re: Writers, I'll cut you a deal

#12

Wilewriter17 Wrote: Hello all, thank you for your critiques, and I wanted to give a bit of an announcement.  To anyone new to join this chat from here on, I will not be critiquing any more beginnings.  Additionally, to all who have critiqued, I wanted to state, if I have not yet given my thoughts on the first chapter of your work, please do not hesitate to make me aware.  I have critiqued the beginning chapter on the list of people I was aware of (other than you, WithinTheStorm; I'll get to you soon).  Again, I thank all who gave feedback on this forum and via private chat.  It was greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Wile

Saw this too late, but I still gave you a shoutout at the end of Chapter 484.