The Vorrgistadt Saga - Review Request & Swap

5 months ago | SovereignofAshes (Member)

Hello to all you fine people who visit these forums,

TL;DR - A heartfelt request for some feedback on my web serial if people have time. Interested in review swaps for those who want to.

Link to Table of Contents: https://vorrgistadt.blogspot.ca/p/tales-of-skaldts.html

This serial has been here for almost two years. It's gone through several revisions and reworks to where it is now. Each time, I've taken in suggestions from readers and writers to try and make it a little bit better. Right now, I'm looking to see what new work is needed to change this story up -- what is currently working for people and what really isn't.

On the Table of Contents you'll notice I've added some sections that are still being worked on. I'll have those up in the next two weeks or so. I remember a contributor to this forum mentioning how annoying they felt large chapters were on serials. At the same time, a lot of my readers have mentioned that they prefer larger chapters. My plan to cater to both sensibilities is to have full chapters and divided chapters for those who prefer them. Binge readers can binge, and those looking for something to read on a bus ride or between classes/lectures can do so as well.

The story is white text on a black background (readers asked for this to be easier on the eyes). If you prefer dark text on a light background, please comment below and I'll upload a link to the Reddit, Wattpad, or RRL version of this story. Altogether, the amount of content in the story is at around 112,000 words. New chapters will be up shortly as I'm just coming back from a mini-hiatus due to recent health problems. Episode Three will be done in June and Episode Four is already being worked on.

Information-wise, the story is a swords & sorcery weird-fantasy. The setting is a post-apocalyptic one where old empires have fallen, causing communities to become tribal once again. This story is an experiment where I'm trying to fuse western (epics/the hero's journey) with eastern (slice-of-life/epic fable) sensibilities together and see how they can work. Some readers have noted the use of complex dialogue tags used in the story. This is for a stylistic element -- I'm trying to keep a normal-ish story running with a dialogue structure that is a lot like old Norse Sagas or old classics like Le Morte d'Arthur. With this, there is emphasis on character actions/reactions and individual perceptions. This also has to do with the nature of some of the characters (oracles who can read people's minds/see into the future and barbarian warriors that carefully watch the world around them). Some have mentioned they like this style, but for many others it gets exhausting. If you feel this is a problem, please let me know. With enough feedback I'll change things up.

The first Episode is a stand-alone story, but is directly connected to the ongoing serial. The main characters of the serial start in the second Episode. Each Episode is focused on a particular character or set of events. If you like adventure stories, the first Episode might appeal to you. If you prefer more emotional and character-focused stories, the second and third Episodes will appeal to you. As far as I can tell, there shouldn't be any severely objectionable content in the story but violence and bad language is present.

Concerning the review swap itself, I have several reviews here on WFG that you can consult to see what kind of style I have. I try to focus on the spirit of a story when I review. I want to accurately convey the story to new readers and get them hyped. I strive for accuracy as much as possible but I have my own biases.

Generally, I prefer not to leave bad reviews if I can do so. If I have a really bad reaction to a given work, I'll refuse to review it. I rather here in this thread about my concerns and have a dialogue with the author than leave a bad review up. Honestly though, I've only had one bad reaction to a story thus far on this site (and won't be reviewing that work at all).

If you feel my work absolutely sucks, it's up to you if you would like to review it or not. I would really appreciate you leaving some notes for me here or being willing to talk about what didn't work for you. This lets me make notes to change the story and learn to be better.

As far as personal biases go, I'm pretty open-minded to stories. I'm very much not interested in heavily erotic works. I'm not a big fan of stories in the LitRPG or Superhero genres, but if the work is original and interesting, that won't stop me from leaving a supportive review. I'm pretty jaded to modern/urban fantasy and Young Adult fantasy stories, so things really need to be awesome to get my attention. I'll try to keep my biases in check for reviews, though, I'm more interested in the potential of the story and how well done it's concept is. Also, I'm a huge fan of horror stories or complex-genre stories.

I don't know if anyone will be interested in doing swaps here, but in case someone is... I'll respond to everyone who posts here in kind. Eventually, I'll post up a list with rough deadlines for your reviews. I'll do reviews in a 'First Come, First Serve' kind of way. I'm in the middle of writing my next chapters, so I can only do about three reviews a week or so. I'll try to get to everyone who is interested as soon as possible. If the wait is more than two weeks, for whatever reason, I'll let you know here.

Thank you for checking this out and to whoever is interested.

I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.

Read responses...

Page: 124

Responses

  1. Docmars (Member)

    Posted 5 months ago

    hi iv been hearing good things about yours and I would be up for swap. it might take me a little time to read it but I would do be very happy to.

    https://www.camelotmagazine.com/fiction/2017/7/8/tomarrow-girl

  2. Megajoule (Member)

    Posted 5 months ago

    Just took a look, I'd be down to do a review swap! You'd be third on my list, so I'd get to it some time in the next two weeks, but I'd be more than happy to!

    https://inheritorsserial.com / a clone of the greatest superhero in the world, with only a fraction of the power
  3. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 5 months ago

    @Docmars,
    Thank you for the kind words and interest in the review swap. I'll jump into your story, Tomorrow Girl, starting Wednesday. I should have a review for you before the end of the week.

    @Megajoule,
    Thank you for taking a look, hopefully it won't disappoint, lol. I'll jump into your story, Inheritors, this weekend. No worries about the two weeks or anything else, I understand that you've got swaps going on.

    As it stands right now:

    1 - 'Tomorrow Girl' by Docmars
    2 - 'Inheritors' by Megajoule

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  4. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    @Docmars,

    I enjoyed what you have up of Tomorrow Girl in Bismarck. It was actually a pretty refreshing read overall. I found myself starting to get giggly and sarcastic while reading it after about the second or third chapter. The first chapter felt like you were going with a Golden Age of Superheroes feel. It felt like an old 1940's radio-drama in written form. Near the end of the first chapter things got disjointed. The first part of the second chapter was a harsh relief compared to the first and felt like the tongue-in-cheek social drama of Fargo or Twin Peaks.

    I got the feeling that you were at once inspired by the Coen Brothers kind of work, while also trying to subvert the superhero genre and turn it on its side a bit.

    That's where I was coming from with my review. I couldn't quite figure out just how far you were pushing the subversion of the genre, or how 'anarchistic' you were going with your narrative and sets of tone. I know you were using the harsh shifts in active voice and severe passive voice to push as far up to the fourth wall as you could without crossing it, or at least that's what it felt like.

    I'm a big fan of sarcastic humor and subversion, but general humor in writing is a bit beyond me. I'm not a fan of ridiculousness for ridiculousness' sake. I'm not into 'cheery humor' but much more prefer dark humor. I don't like spontaneous absurdity, but rather like a heavily ingrained situation that is suddenly tossed on its side to poke fun at the absurdity of the human condition... Much like typical Coen Brothers kind of movies. It was hard to know just how far you were going or where you were aiming. Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind.

    I hope the review works for you. I tried to put in as much subversion into it as I got from your story. I don't know if I went to far. So far there's one 'unhelpful' on there, so maybe I went too far. Your voice and the work on Camelot is very interesting and feels like a surreal alternate universe that I was just plunged into. I can't wait to see what other new works you have in your brain that will be shared with us in the future.

    All I can say is that I might not have been the target audience for this particular story. I -really- don't like superhero fictions and have some strong feelings against the whole genre. I in no way want my personal biases to be aimed at your work at all. That isn't where I'm coming from with my review. I want to see an author's voice more than any restrictions of genre. I'm more than happy to be surprised or have my biases questioned. Your work did that and it was a very worthwhile read.

    All the best for the future.

    Now... @Megajoule, you're up on the chopping block. From my first impression, your work has a capes + dark/horror kind of vibe to it. I'm eagerly awaiting getting lost in your chapters.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  5. Hejin57 (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    Do you prefer reviews of the whole story or individual chapters overall? Either way, I'm only a few months new to this story game myself and your concept sounds really unique and interesting.

    I'll take a look today and give my thoughts for sure. Do not feel rushed to read mine, it is incredibly far along so I can only expect people to get so far. I happen to be an ultra fast reader so it's not a race, haha.

    On a side note your website layout looks great. Per a friend's suggestion I'm still in the process of moving to a dedicated website myself, I'm just awful with the web construction process.

    -----

    https://www.wattpad.com/story/131348425-music-masters-cd-one

  6. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    Hi Hejin57,

    I think an overall review would be the most helpful for readers. By overall, just... What was actually read, though. Whether that's just a few chapters or as much as possible. That's what I can provide for your story. Generally, about a dozen chapters is a good 'slice' for most people.

    Thank you for the kind words. Moving to a website if you're hosting it yourself can be a lot of work. Putting your stuff up on Wordpress (which is the default site most use for these serials/fictions) is pretty easy to get started and is free. For just starting out, select a snappy template that fits your story and looks good to readers. Customize what you can or what you have inclination to do. Make sure that once you have your work up and feel comfortable with things, to send in your submission here on WFG.

    Since your story is hosted on Wattpad right now, do you want a review here in the forums, or would you like me to post it to your story as a comment on Wattpad? Would you rather I post the review here for now and then wait to upload it once you get your site in order and go through the submission process here?

    I'll add your work to my list. You'll be right after Megajoule. I should be able to get to your story next week, probably between Wednesday and Friday. No rush on reviews, feedback, or anything else. Thank you for your interest in this.

    I'll update the list right now:

    1 - 'Tomorrow Girl in Bismarck' by Docmars (Review up - willing to amend/change/overhaul review if author wants)
    2 - 'Inheritors' by Megajoule
    3 - 'Music Masters: CD One' by Hejin57

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  7. Hejin57 (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    That's perfectly fine. There's a very specific, audio-related reason I use Wattpad over all other sites for the time being, but you can feel free to put a review on there or on here, whatever's easier for you to do in the end. I'm not even sure when I'll have the website up and running so Wattpad serves me for now as long as I need. I sent a submission over a week ago so if I get denied because of that it'll just give me motivation to move over to a dedicated site already, haha.

    I intend to read through your entire story thus far, I'll be sure to comment on the site directly with my thoughts, that way people see that someone is reading it. I've already read the first two parts and I will be posting those thoughts accordingly as I read it throughout today, so look for those for sure.

  8. Docmars (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    @SovereignofAshes

    thanks for review man I fell bad that yours is not ready yet. you hit the nail on that with the whole Fargo/twin peaks stuff and the taking apart superhero stuff (it comes from a place of love though)

    I don't have any problems with the review it was a fun one. sometimes people don't really want that (what can I say).

    @Hejin57
    I use Squarespace with I find to be very easy to put music into.

  9. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    @SovereignofAshes

    I've been looking to do some review swaps involving longer reads. My current project, and it's a long one, is a slow brew that takes a little more than just reading a handful of episodes to pin down in a review. My first arc alone introduces several different characters at different places during the same period of time. Book One of my series is 15 chapters (or what you would call 56 shards) long, and I believe that book captures, in essence, enough of my story for an accurate review of my work. I've often told new readers that if they didn't enjoy Book One, then they might as well stop because they won't enjoy the rest of the story.

    My story is definitely a horror story, initially involving 'the dead', but it evolves into something much different later on. It's a multi-character, apocalyptic story that focuses heavily on survival and character development over time. I hate using the "Z" word in relation to my tale because I hate the stereotype associated with it. But yes, zombies are in it.

    Anyway, I'm looking for reviewers willing to read at least the first book, which is just under 160,000 words. I'm guessing that by the time you post your third or fourth episodes, your story will be up in that range as well.

    So, in exchange for a review of my first fifteen chapters, I'll review your first three or four episodes, giving us both a review based on longer portions of our work. I know we're also both on Royal Road, and I'd be willing to exchange reviews there as well for cross-promoting purposes.

    I've already read the first five chapters of your story and can tell that I'm going to enjoy it. If interested, let me know. There is some 'graphic' content in my story at times, but it's not consistent throughout.

    I'm tied up for the rest of May, early June, finishing up the last two chapters of Book Five in my series, but I'll have some down time by the middle of June to do some heavy reading, so I could have a review of your story probably by the end of June, or a little later if you want me to wait until your third and fourth episodes are finished.

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark. http://freezombienovel.wordpress.com
  10. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    I'm going to go in chronological response order so I don't miss anyone or any ideas.

    @Hejin57,

    I checked out your work and definitely know what you mean by needing a multimedia element on any site you're using. You have a very interesting and novel (pardon the pun) work. I really like the mixture you bring between the written word, your artwork, and the inspiration of music. The idea of drawing powers and motivation from music is really awesome.

    I'm one of those writers that needs heavy inspiration from music to write. There are soundtracks for specific projects and songs for specific characters. I try not to bother readers with such things on my blog-site for the story, but I do inflict my musical inspirations on readers over at RRL, lol. I also inflict my artwork on some of my readers there as well. I know what you mean with the power of music and the desire to share that. I really enjoy your artwork as well and that you tie your work into your DeviantArt account. Be careful, some authors here might try and tap you for character art for their stories. ^_^

    Thank you for reading through my story and leaving comments on the blog-site. I really appreciate your viewpoints there and that you took the time to do it. I completely forgot I even had comment sections on the chapters after all this time, lol. People tend to come by like shadows in the dark, reading the words and then disappearing into the void. I'm glad that you left your mark there for the ages.

    I'll be going through your work and doing the same on Wattpad. When I get either the whole thing done or as far as I can go with time, I'll post up a cursory review here and as a comment on Wattpad. I'll keep hold of it until you do the submission process and will post it here if/when you're ready.

    @Docmars,

    I could tell your work came from a place of love and respect for the genre, it's a good work. Still really like that you turned the whole thing on its head. I'll continue to watch that review and amend it if need be. I took out a Stan Lee joke from it thus far because... Well... I worry it wasn't respectful enough given his health lately. Although the thought of his catchphrase, "Excelsior" alluding to a mutant squirrel in his mind is oddly humorous. I'll continue to prune the review like a bonsai tree.

    No rush on any reviews at all. It seems we've got a lot of swaps going on with different people here.

    @Scott Scherr,

    I would love to do a review of Don't Feed the Dark. I'll add you to the list here post-haste.

    I've checked out your work before at your site and on RRL. I think the last time I had a sit down to read through, I got to around the end of Book Two or beginning of Book Three. I would love to go back from the beginning and give it another go. Post-apocalyptic survival-horror is definitely my favorite cup of tea (along with 'Earl Grey -- hot'). I'm not squeamish about violence, language, gore, severe character stress, overt mortality, or even good ol' GrimDark-ness.

    Sounds good with what you've mentioned. No worries or rush at all. I will be able to hop into your work right after my review for Music Masters: CD One. I have two chapters I need to finish up this weekend. I'm working on going through Inheritors right now. Then, I would like to give myself a few days to a week to go through Music Masters: CD One. I could give myself a full week after that for Book One of Don't Feed the Dark, and try to push as far as I can into Book Two and Book Three. If another person pops in for another review, I'll do their's and return to yours to finish it all off or at least get caught up to where you are in your posting schedule.

    I will definitely post the review, once it's done, here and on RRL. If there's any other venues you are using right now, please let me know.

    @Megajoule,

    I'm going through Inheritors right now. Really liking the 'ground up' kind of story you start with. Reminds me a lot of Watchmen (the comics and movie), one of the few supers stories I can get into. I got a little bit of Mystery Men in the first chapter as well (also a good movie). I think the only other two supers things you could tick off for me would be Deadpool and Christopher Nolan's Batman. Digging it so far.

    I should be able to get your review up, I'm hoping before Monday. If things slow down or unforeseen events happen, I'm hoping before Wednesday.

    The updated list is as follows:

    1 - 'Tomorrow Girl in Bismarck' by Docmars (Review up - willing to amend/change/overhaul review if author wants)
    2 - 'Inheritors' by Megajoule (Being reviewed - Review deadline is May 30th)
    3 - 'Music Masters: CD One' by Hejin57
    4 - 'Don't Feed the Dark' by Scott Scherr

    As a Postscript...

    @Rhodeworks,

    (In case you stop by.) I'd like to add Not All Heroes to this list if that's okay with you. My way of 'burying the hatchet' so-to-speak. No need to back-and-forth review. I can add your work in later on. It's entirely up to you.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  11. Hejin57 (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    Thanks Sovereign for the kind words. I thought my concept seemed like it might not really be in your ballpark but I guess I was incorrect.

    I plan on catching up with the rest of your story hopefully by this weekend.

    In other news, please you use this updated link instead of Wattpad.

    It took a few hours, but now I have a much nicer, much cleaner Wordpress site. Suggestion was amazingly thanks to Megajoule.

    https://musicmastersdotblog.wordpress.com

    I would appreciate if you post your thoughts on there from this point forward. Wattpad's just a mirror and this will certainly be the main site. I just have to finish uploading the 27 parts remaining to the site this weekend and then next week I can finally move on with the story after the next key visual is done.

    Like I said, I will catch up with your story for sure.

    Oh, and @Docmars I will read yours also, my apologies for now saying that sooner.

  12. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    @SovereignofAshes

    That's sounds great. Your story will be the first for my summer reading list then. Sounds like you're already familiar with what to expect from my long, dark tale, so this should work out just fine. Please, don't feel like you have to catch up with where my serial is currently before reviewing. Books 4 and 5 (which I'm wrapping up now) are both over 200,000 words each. Unless, of course, you want to keep reading. When I'm caught up with The Vorrgistadt Saga (and I'll at least wait until you finish and post the third episode in June), I'll write my review, post it here and on RRL, and if there's any suggestions or additional thoughts outside the review, I'll post them in this thread or in your comments section on your site. As far as how I review, I tend to write reviews leaning toward readers coming here to find something to read rather than full on critiques intended for a critiques forum.

    I'm looking forward to continuing your story. I'm a big-time character driven reader and I'm already enjoying where you're going with the first four characters I've met.

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark. http://freezombienovel.wordpress.com
  13. Hejin57 (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    I just wanted to let you know I am now completely caught up with your story now.

    It's very good and all my thoughts are on each chapter as you may have already seeen. I'll certainly be following it from this point forward for sure.

    Apologies for the site for my story, it's actually not completely up to date just yet, but it should be by the end of tonight. I have 21 chapters left to reupload.

    Heh, maybe I'll add Ghelta to my drawing list too. I'm interesting in doing a design for her but my style is not the most realistic unfortunately.

  14. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 4 months ago

    @Megajoule,

    The review is up. I sincerely hope it helps with your story and conveying to readers what's going on with Inheritors. I did what I could to avoid any spoilers and let the audience enjoy what you have up thus far.

    It seems there are a lot of grumpy people lurking in the dark right now, it's already recieved an unhelpful vote, lol. Maybe a lot of people just don't dig review swaps right now, glad they told us before we all started these things. Or maybe everyone hates me, oh well. =P

    I really enjoyed what you have up on Inheritors. It's a hard thing to start your story with something as dark as sexual trafficking and the victims thereof. That seems to be the only thing I can see that might hold you back from getting a maximum audience with your story. I know where you were going though, and the story works. Dark (vigilante) supers are the best supers.

    @Hejin57,

    I totally dig the idea behind your serial, as I mentioned above. The unity of music with a story is a really awesome concept. I'm also appreciating the 'upbeat' way you're doing with with your story rather than some literary-heavy stories I've seen before (the Guitar Diaries of... I forgot the title).

    Thank you so much for the comments on my story. I really appreciate that you went all the way through the whole thing that's up so far and left your views on it. I'll return the favor on your newly minted Wordpress site once you get all the chapters up (if you haven't already).

    I've bookmarked your new link and will use that. I'll also go through your Wattpad and copy-paste the comments there and vote. I know how hard getting comments and votes on Wattpad is, lol.

    Thank you for the kind words and for being up to follow it. I know the story isn't everyone's cup o' tea (and I'm honestly surprised if it is anyone's, lol).

    Your Wordpress site looks solid thus far, no worries. I would really appreciate any character art. Please don't feel you have to, though. I know your story and your next uploads are priority. You also have swaps in the mix. I really like your character design for your characters so far.

    You're next up on the chopping block. *evil grin*

    @Scott Scherr,

    Thank you for the kind words and for adding me to your Summer reading list ^_^

    I'll make the review focus on Book One, but I'll get caught up for my own enjoyment. I understand and will aim the review to a new wave of readers. I don't like posting spoilers, so I'll avoid mentioning what's in Books Two and Three in the main review.

    Sounds good about everything else. I would really enjoy some suggestions if you're willing or able to do so. If there's any way you know for me to escalate the darkness in an effective manner, I'd be up for some 'shop talk' here or in comments.

    Okay, the updated list is as follows:

    1 - 'Tomorrow Girl in Bismarck' by Docmars (Review up - willing to amend/change/overhaul review if author wants)
    2 - 'Inheritors' by Megajoule (Review up - willing to amend/change/overhaul review if author wants)
    3 - 'Music Masters: CD One' by Hejin57 (Under review - Will be reading throughout the next week)
    4 - 'Don't Feed the Dark' by Scott Scherr (Upcoming)

    and a conditional 5 - 'Not All Heroes' by Rhodeworks (Still don't have a 'yay' or 'nay' though, and don't want to step on toes)

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
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