Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#1
If you saw my title/cover on Latest Updates would you click it? If not, why not?

If you saw my blurb/fiction page, would you be interested enough to read my first chapter? If not, why not?

If you were interested enough to read my first chapter, did it hold your interest? If not, at what point did you lose interest?

Essentially, at precisely what point do you lose interest? Comment from the perspective of a fickle reader. I don't require detailed feedback; one sentence of superficial feedback is all I need (but feel free to elaborate). Examples:
"Your story is X genre. I prefer Y genre."
"Your story only has 1 review."
"Your cover is dark and blurry and doesn't stand out."
"Your first chapter had typos/bad grammar."

Feel free to be blunt (honest criticism is welcome; mean-spirited brutally honest criticism is not).

This can be reciprocal. If you would like me to give my flash impression of your story, I'm happy to oblige (just let me know). Maybe others can chime in as well.

UPDATE: I've gotten a lot of great feedback, so I'm closing this off to further submissions. I'll reply with my first impression to those who have already shared theirs.

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#2
Hi, I'm going to go down the list of questions.

-I do like the cover, but the text is difficult to read at a glance. I also think it could benefit from some variation of saturation to add contrast. A slightly more saturated yellow behind the castle might add that contrast without taking away from the mood that you have now.

-Your blurb pulls me in, but I'm not a fan of the separate paragraphs starting with conjugations. It doesn't really detract from what you're saying, so don't feel like you need to change it. When I was reading it, it just felt stilted.

-As for you first chapter... well I clicked 'next chapter' immediately, so there you go. It was good :) I think the characters really pulled me into the story, and I got an immediate sense of their personalities, and the interaction felt natural for the most part. The one thing that did begin to bother me was the breaks to explain things. It happened a bit too often, but because it's the first chapter, I do have more tolerance for it. Of course, there was no info dump, so that was great. All this to say, I really did enjoy reading it, and will now read the second chapter.

Hope this was helpful, and I'd be happy if you'd do the same for me. I have two stories, so you can pick whichever one you want. I guess that will also be a good test of first impressions.

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#3
I have read your story, because be swapped reviews. However, I can give you my impressions on what I'd have done without that agreement.

Your cover is perfect for your genre. I look at that, and the sense of what I'm getting into is spot on. That's the exact kind of cover I expect a story like yours to have.

I would stop reading at your first chapter... not because there's anything wrong with it. Just because it would confirm that it's a genre of fantasy that I'm not particularly interested in. Your writing seems spot on for its target audience, it's just... not a genre or style that I, personally, like, no matter how well it's done. But I was really into that kind of fantasy as a teenager, and if I'd read it then, I would have devoured it all in one go and be waiting impatiently for updates. Your characters are interesting and your stakes are appropriately high.

I'd be interested in your impression of The Cursed Heart.

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#4
Thanks nolgalaxy for all the great feedback! To others who are reading the thread, don't feel obliged to provide as much detailed feedback, you can keep it as short as you'd like. Superficial first impressions are welcome!

So first off, I love your cover art for Rick Lupaine. It's got a lot of color and definitely stands out, and it does entice me to click. Your blurb could use some work. It's a dense block of text and reads sort of like a summary of the story. I think it'd be better if you slimmed it down, and offered some choice teasers for the story. Here's a great thread on writing blurbs using the ABCD method: https://www.royalroad.com/forums/thread/103484?page=1

I clicked on your first chapter, and one thing that turned me off was that the first paragraph had a lot of description and doesn't really hook me. I think it would be better to open with some kind of drama or action. Getting further into it, the story definitely does seem interesting!

Chasing the Horizon - cover art honestly turned me off. It looks like a girl walking on clouds or something. I probably wouldn't click on it if I saw it in Latest Updates (that's not to say the writing isn't good -- I can tell by Rick Lupaine you're a talented writer. I'm just commenting from the perspective of a fickle prospective reader).

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#5
Thanks Derin! So from the standpoint of a superficial reader, I'd honestly probably stop at your cover. It's not bad per se, it just doesn't tell me anything about the story, and it doesn't stand out. I'd love to see cover art depicting Haven (or Kayden / other characters).

Incidentally, when I was teenager I used to devour stories about magic schools, and I would have definitely devoured yours! 

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#6

ninjacat007 Wrote: Thanks nolgalaxy for all the great feedback! To others who are reading the thread, don't feel obliged to provide as much detailed feedback, you can keep it as short as you'd like. Superficial first impressions are welcome!

So first off, I love your cover art for Rick Lupaine. It's got a lot of color and definitely stands out, and it does entice me to click. Your blurb could use some work. It's a dense block of text and reads sort of like a summary of the story. I think it'd be better if you slimmed it down, and offered some choice teasers for the story. Here's a great thread on writing blurbs using the ABCD method: https://www.royalroad.com/forums/thread/103484?page=1

I clicked on your first chapter, and one thing that turned me off was that the first paragraph had a lot of description and doesn't really hook me. I think it would be better to open with some kind of drama or action. Getting further into it, the story definitely does seem interesting!

Chasing the Horizon - cover art honestly turned me off. It looks like a girl walking on clouds or something. I probably wouldn't click on it if I saw it in Latest Updates (that's not to say the writing isn't good -- I can tell by Rick Lupaine you're a talented writer. I'm just commenting from the perspective of a fickle prospective reader).



Thanks for the feedback! These are great points, and I'll definitely consider revisions. I've actually been thinking about designing a new cover for 'Chasing the Horizon', so this was a good confirmation that it is necessary. 

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#7
If I saw your cover, I would not click. It's definitely a matter of taste, but for me it's too monotone with the colour, so it doesn't draw me in.

I read your blurb and I was interested to read the first chapter. The story seemed interesting and I liked that you had actually wrote the paragraph "for the fans of..." since it gave me a good idea of what to expect, and if the story would be for me.

(Pardon for this next one, I'm trying to explain it as well as I can in English, so I hope it comes out as understandable) I would probably stop reading at your first chapter. The writing was great and very creative and the characters seemed interesting, but for me it just felt a bit too information heavy right from the start. I would have much rather learned more about the characters than what was going on around them in the beginning, so that kinda turned me off. But I also think that this is the kind of style/genre that's just not for me.

I would love to hear what you have to say about my book <3

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#8
Thanks KM Keane! That's great feedback, and I'll be sure to incorporate it when I do revisions.

As for your story, I would probably not click on your cover art. It looks unique, but the color scheme suggests Romance, which is not my thing.

The blurb is intriguing but it could be better. Why are these two friends traveling to the town hidden in haze? What perils will they face? The blurb doesn't really hook me to care about the characters or their adventure. That said, I glanced at your first chapter and the writing is definitely solid (just not my preferred genre). I would have liked to see more action / more stakes for the characters and a nice cliffhanger at the end of the chapter (in fact I think you should end with Amra thinking they'll be attacked; the final paragraph defuses the tension you build up in the preceding paragraph).

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#9

ninjacat007 Wrote: If you saw my title/cover on Latest Updates would you click it? If not, why not?

If you saw my blurb/fiction page, would you be interested enough to read my first chapter? If not, why not?

If you were interested enough to read my first chapter, did it hold your interest? If not, at what point did you lose interest?

No. It's a cover that doesn't interest me since I'm usually into YA books. There's a certain style of covers they have and it's usually with a heroine on the cover. So I'm not your target audience. Which means I wouldn't even get as far as reading your blurb. But! Since reading is a social thing and I've seen you on the forums, I've already read your blurb LOL


Onto your blurb. This also wouldn't interest me because I'm not into mystery books. The Da Vinci Code was something that was not very interesting to me so I wouldn't read another book that's similar to it. Although I did enjoy the idea that it's a Guild, and there are rival adventurer's since I'm really into D&D style stories as well.
"or fans of attunement spires, bewitched libraries, floating academies, mad dukes, forged art, clever disguises, enchanted swords, eldritch sea monsters, vengeful gods, & much more!" - This part of your blurb was arguably the most interesting for me since it really lets me know that we have all of these in the story. Which I love. Again, huge D&D fan.

I have not read your first chapter, but since I've written this entire post I might as well give a shot. So stay tuned for that, I'll edit this post when I've read it PeoReading


(Note: From a design perspective, your cover's typography needs to be much more easily legible. And the font used makes it even harder to read. Something more sans-serif would work best.)

Edit: Alright, that first chapter was actually amazing. I read through the whole thing and it felt very engaging. I think what made me like it the most was when Gianna activated a cantrip. Like hello D&D magic. So actually, I decided to follow your novel to see where it goes. I'm interested in the worldbuilding elements you've added. It truly intrigued me and even though it's not my typical genre it was very enjoyable to read. So I would definitely continue reading, and you gained a follower DrakanLaugh

Also can you do the same for my story. I'm curious about your thoughts on it.

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#12
Wow, thanks everyone for the feedback!

@ AeroKaia - Yes I would click on your cover art because -- well, to put it bluntly -- boobs. But seriously though, the cover art is gorgeous. The blurb could use some work. 1) I'm not sure what you mean when you say "hunt her kind" -- what's her kind? What's the creeping darkness? 2) " They must work together to uncover the mysteries surrounding each other’s greatest threats" ->   Is kind of vague.  I would love if you teased a little bit about what these mysteries and threats are to give me a better sense of the story. 

Nevertheless, it's interesting enough that I would click on the first chapter. The writing is solid and the characters have great chemistry, but it doesn't really hook me (though frankly maybe it's just because it's not my genre). There's not much tension, except perhaps romantic tension (again, maybe just not my genre). Overall though, I think it's very solid work.

@ cmr - re: repetitive words, that's one I hadn't heard before, so thank you for the novel feedback (pun intended)! I'll keep an eye out for it when I go to revisions. 

Regarding your story, my flash impression of your cover art is that it's sci-fi (something to do with wormholes or such), which based on your blurb is an incorrect assumption. I'm not sure if others share my impression, but if they do it may deter some potential readers. Your blurb was intriguing but didn't really tell me much about the story. I'm not sure exactly what situation Seph finds herself in -- why civilization ended for her, why she's convinced her days are numbered? That said, I do like how the final paragraph teases the existence of holes/escapes. 

@ Eldria - thanks for your feedback! Let me know if you want me to review your story as well.

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#13

ninjacat007 Wrote: Wow, thanks everyone for the feedback!

@ AeroKaia - Yes I would click on your cover art because -- well, to put it bluntly -- boobs. But seriously though, the cover art is gorgeous. The blurb could use some work. 1) I'm not sure what you mean when you say "hunt her kind" -- what's her kind? What's the creeping darkness? 2) " They must work together to uncover the mysteries surrounding each other’s greatest threats" ->   Is kind of vague.  I would love if you teased a little bit about what these mysteries and threats are to give me a better sense of the story. 

Nevertheless, it's interesting enough that I would click on the first chapter. The writing is solid and the characters have great chemistry, but it doesn't really hook me (though frankly maybe it's just because it's not my genre). There's not much tension, except perhaps romantic tension (again, maybe just not my genre). Overall though, I think it's very solid work.

Thanks for your feedback ninja. I'll take into consideration what you've said. Appreciate your candor :DrakanWine:

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#14
I'd say that things like:
Raven landed near his feet. That was odd.
Follow the arrows. He spied no arrows.
Amusement for onlookers. But this man was not amused.
Everyone knows what Wizard is. Narrator telling what wizards and mages are.

Are not very helpful with immersion. For example, instead of saying that Gianna has a keen interest in magic and aptitude, she could hurry with the lamp, otherwise she would miss even a second of their fight and then apologise and turn the brightness down because it was too high.

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#16

ninjacat007 Wrote: Thanks KM Keane! That's great feedback, and I'll be sure to incorporate it when I do revisions.

As for your story, I would probably not click on your cover art. It looks unique, but the color scheme suggests Romance, which is not my thing.

The blurb is intriguing but it could be better. Why are these two friends traveling to the town hidden in haze? What perils will they face? The blurb doesn't really hook me to care about the characters or their adventure. That said, I glanced at your first chapter and the writing is definitely solid (just not my preferred genre). I would have liked to see more action / more stakes for the characters and a nice cliffhanger at the end of the chapter (in fact I think you should end with Amra thinking they'll be attacked; the final paragraph defuses the tension you build up in the preceding paragraph).

Thank you for the feedback!

I think that the colour scheme point is very interesting! Colours are great and also bad in that way, that they have strong associations. I have romance, but only as a subplot, so it's interesting to hear that my cover suggests towards it. A very nice point that I hadn't even thought of!

And yes, my blurb is in the stage that I'm going to rewrite it! :)

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#18
@ Eldria - So my first impression is I don't like the period in your title; I recommend removing that. Your cover art isn't bad, but it doesn't really entice me to click. I prefer covers with more color and detail. As a fickle reader, I probably would not click on it. Your blurb is can be improved - it gives the background of the story, but it doesn't reveal much about the story itself. I would like to know more about the main character and what challenges she will face. 

@ Seerica - Thanks for the feedback! Would you like me to share my impression of your story? I'm happy to oblige, but I don't want to give unsolicited feedback.

Re: Give me your one sentence flash impression of my story, and I'll do the same for yours

#20
@ Seerica - Based on your Statistics, your story is wildly popular and successful, certainly more successful than mine, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

My flash impression based on title/cover is that it's something sci-fi-y. I like the cover but the title doesn't really draw me (feels kind of generic). Full disclosure, I know nothing about isekai/gender bender, but my impression of your blurb is that it's vague. What's the impossible event? Why does the world have plans for his future, and why are there no easy decisions? Of course a blurb shouldn't reveal too much, but it should tease the general story.

But again, you're more successful than me (in fact I think everyone in this thread is), so you're definitely doing something right!