Desparate for Feedback from this enlightened community

I am a little concerned that Chris is the only person who has reviewed my online novel, Small Town Ravaging (www.smalltownravaging.weebly.com). I am just wondering, if anyone has been there and been turned off by something in particular that kept you from coming back, could you please let me know? I am having trouble securing feedback, and so I have almost no sense of whether or not my story is just rubbish, or if there is something about the setup of my site that sends people away. (One thing I know for sure is that the chapters are long, as I wrote them long before deciding to make my story available online, thus they tend to run a little too long for just casual weekly reading.)

Just a polite enquiry. If I am jumping the gun after only a month, feel free to tell me that as well :)

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read/reply to this post.


Well, I don't know if it's "jumping the gun" to be desperate for feedback when all of us want feedback -- but just to let you know there are over 200 stories that no one but Chris has looked at, and some of them date as far back as 2009. The community is trying to keep up -- but speaking up in the forums is a pretty good way to get noticed.


One thing that struck me when I took a glance at your site this morning is that there's no table of contents link -- the "Small Town Ravaging" tab takes you to the most recently posted chapter, and then you have to scan down along the right column to find a chapter list to get to the beginning. A direct link to the start is always a good idea, as is a table of contents page.


Thank you for the honest review, Gavin. I should make it more clear somewhere that the first four chapters of this story were written when I was approximately the age of the character, and smoking more pot than even Jerry Carson. I should have waited until after the re-write phase to post online, perhaps, but once I found the manuscript in this last year, I was excited to have it back in my grasp and eager to get people to read it without having to print them a copy. At that time, I had a tendency, as you said in your review, to "see things clearly in (my) mind, but wanting to jump to the good parts." I definitely appreciate the feedback, and in the rewrite I will for sure try to "show" a bit more instead of just "telling." I have noticed this lack of visuals when I put the story on my ebook reader and began reviewing it myself (I am now twenty three, so its been over eight years since I first hand-wrote the first few chapters in a buzzed rush.) Anyways, thank you for the honesty and clear reasoning for your low rating of my novel.

As to the chapters... in the blog section, at the very top, every single available chapter is listed at the right hand side of the screen. However, when you scroll down with the story, it stays at the top instead of tracking along, and this is something I don't have the HTML know how to fix. But all the chapters are listed there, with a link to each one. But perhaps they just aren't obvious enough. A table of contents tab would help, and i will see if I can make it happen. Unfortunately I made the mistake of using a blog section to list the chapters, so I don't know if I can redirect to them from another page, but I will certainly try, as I want to fix anything I can to make this site more enjoyable to come to and read.

Everything you've said is much appreciated, I have taken it all into serious consideration, and all I can say is I hope one day you perhaps read further than chapter two or three. Those are the areas (when I was reading it seven years after writing it originally) that became a slow drog. I hope I can regain the discipline to hold onto my ability to write strong prose, and hopefully that small town you don't want to visit will eventually be a little more tolerable.

Thanks again.


Also, I understand the problem about the many unreviewed stories. I am currently working on reading some as well, in the hopes of helping those authors who have waited for two years for a review. This site is fantastic, and I'd like to help in as many ways as I can. Tons of thanks to Chris Poirier for being such a consistent editor/reviewer.


Sam -- that town is scary -- even when the writing improves (which I'm sure it will) it will still be a place I wouldn't want to visit -- in the best way possible. Because it's horror.


ha ha ha I understand. I guess I mistook what you meant at first as meaning the story. I am proud to announce that I successfully HTML coded a table of contents page, with links to all current chapters (and even though my first attempt had dead links basically leading to nowhere, after about half an hour they now have all been verified as linking to their assigned chapters.) Thank you for pointing out how hard it is to find the chapters. I think the table of contents page will help readers a lot.