Review Request/Trade: Single Creation

1 month ago | thelastspark (Member)

Hi Everyone!

Just found out about this forum and would love to have some people review my story to help me grow as a writer, and I'll gladly return the favour. If it all possible, I would request that you leave the review on the fiction page, but leaving even a single sentence in the comments here is perfectly fine!

Thanks in advance!
Spark

Single Creation: http://royalroadl.com/fiction/12910/single-creation

Read responses...

Responses

  1. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 1 month ago

    Well, I read the first chapter just to get an idea. Then the second. Then the third. And I'mma stop for now and actually write my own chapter instead of reading yours.

    At this rate, you'll have your review sometime tomorrow. The phrase "page turner" will certainly feature.

    As far as reviewing my stuff? I continue the usual spiel of "Pick a door", because I've got about six books (5 complete, 1 almost complete, and the beginnings of another), and wouldn't expect anyone to read it all just for a review. There are two that I would like a review for (the others are either sequels or have been reviewed so often lately that I'd rather see attention to one of the others.)

    They're all modern supernatural//superhero, but each has its own themes of choice.

    https://pricestory.wordpress.com

    There's the front page intro. It's meant as the 'primer' for all the coming books in the setting.

    https://pricestory.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/death-of-a-hero/?trashed=1&ids=1918

    Arthurian Inspired: Expect violence, tragedy, and revenge. Also a wiser, older precog that the main character fails to heed.

    https://pricestory.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/in-triplicate/

    Tristan and Isolde Inspired: Expect less violence, a different sort of tragedy, and heavy focus on the nature of free will, responsibility, and family.

    So, yeah, pick your poison of choice.

    Author of Price.
  2. thelastspark (Member)

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Sorry for the late response, but I got so hooked on your story (finished book one of DoaH and started the sequel). Once I get a bit of free time in the next few days I'll get to a proper review xD

  3. thelastspark (Member)

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Sorry for the late response, but I got so hooked on your story (finished book one of DoaH and started the sequel). Once I get a bit of free time in the next few days I'll get to a proper review xD

  4. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Thanks. It's always nice to hear your work's appreciated by a fellow writer.

    Author of Price.
  5. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    I put up a review over on RR. Lemme know if/when you get your story registered here and I'll copy/paste my review to this site as well.

    Author of Price.
  6. thelastspark (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    And I am finally back! A few disclaimers before I jump into it: I am not sure where to put the review as the only book on your 'shelf'? (I'm new to this site) is Price which I'm not sure if it's referring to the series or a particular book (DoaH vs Nothing Given). The review will be based on DoaH and about 35% of Nothing Given

    Disclaimer: This is the first review I have ever written even close to a 1/4 of this depth.

    Overall Rating: 4.75* for DoaH and 4.2* for Nothing Given.

    Style:

    I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading to find something to similar to my own - what I want to achieve. It is based around minimal descriptions and even less telling. Everything was told through actions and was straight to the point without being dry. There weren't countless monologues, interior or otherwise, do explain situations or phenomena that are a part of life for the character. Think about it, if you lived with something for years, there would be no reason start talking to yourself or those around you explaining why it's so (personal pet-peeve). Instead, the explanations are built into dialogue in a natural way or a tad of villain laughing at the hero (spoilers - looking at the guy whose power adapted - spoiler over), however, even then it is a justified action building up the character.

    My biggest gripe with it was the first chapter where the action scene pans out. There are too many questions raised and very little explanation give. Spoilers - the MC's regeneration abilities are self-evident, but how it affects other materials (his sword) is unexplained. Moreover, through the duration he surged and was granted a sort-of teleportation. However, the way it was described was extremely confusing. With mentions of his previous self's dying and him appearing and random (I know it wasn't 100% random but he had little control over it at the time) locations. It was beyond confusing, the character didn't know what's going on, the readers didn't and only his enemy seemed to understand a bit. Was he teleporting? Was he making clones? Which one is it? Now this makes it sound rather bad but I wanted to let the author know what improve in the beginning as we know first impressions are everything, and if the scene wasn't as gripping as it was, I probably would have dropped it.

    4.5* For Style.

    Story:

    As far as cliches go (especially the ones revolving around superpowers/heroes) I'm pretty clueless as I tend to avoid such stories. However, the plot itself in the first book was a ride like no other. Despite the focus being placed on the main character, preventing the readers from being exposed to the plot lines going on around the MC and instead letting him run head-first into them, there are enough hints given throughout the MC's life that when it comes together, does it really. There will be moments of epiphanies flashing as the reader gets flashbacks to previous events and realizes why characters had said/done as they did in the light of new events. When that happens, all those hidden plotlines come to light through the reader reconstructing them himself (with generous hints from the writer at the end).

    In the end, it portrays the life of a normal (that's highly debatable) highschooler that gets his heart torn apart and gains superpowers to get revenge. Perhaps not the most unique call to action, but it is very relatable (at least for me) except for some minor details.

    Of course there are elements of tragedy which I won't touch on for them being close to spoilers, but they are there and do their job well. You will LOVE some characters, HATE others and all of it will bring you that much closer to them.

    However, as for the sequel, Nothing Given, I have mixed feelings. As the author himself stated (somewhere), the first book ballooned to 100k words more than expected (I might be wrong on the exact number) and while the story itself in DoaH feels perfect, the impact of it being so long is felt in the second book. All of the plotlines set up in the first book get finished, tied up and cut away. There are a few major over-arching ones that are left/continued to the second book but they feel lacklustre in comparison. A part of this I will attribute to the slower pacing of the story, while the other part to the next sentence. By which I mean that with the loss of previous plots, new ones have to be constructed. However, the author can't while ignoring his main cast, they have to do something. But what can they do without the foundation for meaningful actions? Now again, I read only 35% of the sequel, so I have no idea what happens beyond that point, but as of right now, it was a lot of set-up and little doing. The reason the author got away with this in the beginning is because of the honeymoon. The readers are new to the story, the characters and their struggles so while those were being explored, the groundwork for conflict was laid in the background. Now all of those are explored (not fully, but enough that the reader has a good grasp on it) so there is nothing to distract the readers with while the tension builds. This is where I flaked away from the story after the initial rush of reading it was gone. I took a break to do real life and a week later, just couldn't bring myself back.

    A final not on the story, as far as explanations go, you might as well expect none. Very few are given but they barely make sense, if it all. However, realism is far from the books concern and their [explanation's] absences don't change the flow or enjoyment of the story.

    Don't feel like I'm saying its boring, not worth reading or confusing, in fact, I encourage and highly hope you do! I personally do not enjoy superpower stories a lot, this was my second one in a lifetime and it absolutely hooked me which is saying something.

    Story: DoaH 4.9*, Nothing Given 3.9*

    Character(s):

    Along with the style, this is perhaps the best part of the story so far. All of the characters you encounter seem to have some depth to them. And if they are of any importance to the story, then they have a backstory driving them and a plotline related to them that will be brought up. Their mannerisms, actions, decision and manner of talking (might be repeating myself here) stay consistent to create unique and memorable characters.

    That said, the one downside is that a lot of them have a similar background in the form of crippling depression and drug-. Now joking aside, there isn't a lot of 'happiness' to be found. Pretty much all of them have some dark backstory from which everything stems and gives them power. There are two exceptions to this, one who got his powers through idiotism but he has yet to play a major role and the other has no powers but still not the best of childhoods - just asking to gain superpowers. That's another gripe, despite the odds being abysmally low for gaining superpowers, it feels like everyone has them and they are commonplace. That isn't to say they are boring, there as some truly interesting combinations that delight the mind(s of superpower geeks - I think) it just makes the trait of having power moot and a requirement to be remotely important to the story.

    Characters: 4.75*

    Grammar:

    Pretty much flawless. I noticed a few odd hiccups, but that was once in a book occurrence.

    Grammar: 4.9*

    Final Notes:

    As I mentioned before, this is my first time making a review, so don't take it as a be-all-end-all but more of my personal opinions and experiences. I HIGHLY recommend reading the Death of a Hero. It's great, seriously. One final note I have is regarding characters that I wasn't sure how to express properly (and still don't). Is that they do not drive the plot in different directions enough. Right now its very MC driven - which is great. The MC has to do the driving otherwise why would he be the MC? But right now it feels like instead of the other characters making a major decision that force the MC to act, unknown influences 'happen' forcing the mc to act and those around him react in their unique ways. Again, this is not bad and may not be 100% accurate (what the author intended), but that is how I feel.

  7. thelastspark (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Also, spot the mistake:

    My backswing was better, catching his weapon and knocking it out of his hand. I also it was expensive.

    Moreover, if you could let me know how to get my story linked here as you said, I would greatly appreciated.

  8. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    If you go to the main page, there will be a menu option at the top which says "info & submissions"- click that, and it will explain everything you need to do to register your story. From there, you go on a month long waiting list.

    Just drop your review down on the Price thread in general. All the books are meant to be part of a shared narrative universe, so there's no problem layering the stories together.

    And, yeah, there are some huge differences between Death of a Hero and Nothing Given... notably, they're basically two entirely different stories featuring the same characters (because life works that way- different people can be seeing the same world and living lives side by side, yet their experiences will be quite different from one another). The thing throwing you off seems to be that DoaH was action oriented, with external problems driving the story, while Nothing Given is internally oriented.

    Beth's problems aren't things that can be fixed by raw power (if they were, she'd have fixed them long ago- she's amongst the top 5 individual powerhouses in the setting- either second or third place, depending on how you look at it)... her problems are a matter of having social anxiety and clinical depression. Those are the demons she struggles with.

    If it makes you feel any better? I'll never write another story like it again. Depressed main characters drain the joy out of storytelling. So, yeah, learning experience there.

    Also... choosing to take a sequel in such a massively different direction? Probably a mistake on my part. But I stand by the decision- I'm being true to the characters rather than narrative tropes and convenience.

    Author of Price.
  9. thelastspark (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    I can't comment on depressing characters killing the joy of storytelling, but as far as the changing direction I should have realized that's what I had meant to say.

    By which I mean is that when you began writing a book, the first few chapters are promises made to the readers of what is to come. And the first book gave a lot of action and some nice twists - something I absolutely love (and probably made obvious by my own writing). And that's why I read on, you created a promise of action and consistently delivered it. However, when entering book two I had expected something similar and when I didn't get that, it turned me off.

    This concept is the same when a great story takes a turn and becomes a harem; the fans complain about the book dying because those who read it from the beginning expected the promises of ____(thriller, action, adventure, mystery w/e)to be kept. But when those are lost, the reasons why they were reading in the first place, they stop. And the audience to whom the harem would appeal would never read the book long enough to get to the harem itself. Even if it is a romance arc in between mystery, no matter how well it was written - it may be the best in the world, and the reader will say it dragged on. Why? Because that's not what they read for, not what they want and will only keep reading out of the love for the characters, setting or a combination just long enough to see if they will get what they were promised in the beginning. (Their tolerance for this will depend on how well the other stuff was written and the enjoyment they received).

    So looking back, perhaps you fell into this mistake yourself. I'm saying this because I mentioned the 'honeymoon' with the characters. Those are the same, so I expected the story to develop in a fashion similar to what it was beforehand, but the sudden change made me tune out, and if someone doesn't like the external conflicts, they probably won't make it to the internal conflict. Moreover, they wouldn't be able to jump into Nothing Given to skip the external conflict as there will be a lot of referenced and ideas that they would be missing out.

    While all of that may not be accurate, I hope it sheds some light on errors to avoid in writing. That said, I am far from your skill-level or even good. Single Creation is a second attempt after a [very long hiatus] initial one that barely got past the introduction arc. So I wouldn't trust myself regarding errors to avoid, but I hope my point was clear. It even saddens me a bit to judge Nothing Given so harshly when I haven't finished half of it, and it's not my cup of tea.

    Cheers!
    Spark

  10. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Oh, I absolutely knew the tone shift was going to cost me. I picked artistic integrity over marketability.

    Author of Price.
  11. thelastspark (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Would you care to explain what tropes exactly that you wanted to avoid? I'm pretty new to everything writing-related so I am pretty confused. Since you knew that the shift was going to cost you readers, then why do it. As in, what artistic integrity are you preserving exactly? Not to sound derogatory, just genuine curiosity.

  12. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Amongst other tropes- and there are so many-

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StatusQuoIsGod

    And its cousin-

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrictlyFormula

    Yeah. That. I don't do that. It's true that Price has themes to it, mechanics by which the universe runs (notably, themes of tainted power, sacrifice, and making the best of an imperfect and unfair world- that's all right there in the name of the series and the introduction blurb). Those things are meant to be true of every character (well, all the ones with powers, at any rate).

    Everything Else about the characters, their stories, and their tribulations, are supposed to be dynamic, to show all the different ways this theme can play out. And more importantly, they're supposed to be *unique*.

    Death of a Hero is Zach's story- it is the story of Zach dealing with Zach's life in Zach's way.

    Nothing Given is Beth's story- it is the story of Beth dealing with Beth's life in Beth's way.

    These characters are meant to be people. No two people are the same, and to make them the same would be to cheapen them the characters down to the point where they're little more than plot devices.

    Or the alternate theory is: I would get bored to the point of tears if I had to keep repeating things I'd already done.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SameStoryDifferentNames

    I will never, ever, do this. If others want to, that's their business, but I don't.

    And don't worry, I don't view anything you said as derogatory. But this is a subject I'm passionate about... what with being a writer and all.

    Author of Price.

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