Review Request/Swap: Desert Steel

This is my first time writing a web serial, so I'd love to see some reviews. I also have a lot of free time right now, so review swaps will be no problem. Please give it a look and tell me what you think!

You might want to include a link to your serial. I suspect I saw it on the front page with the other newly listed serials, but it's kinder not to count on people remembering that.


oh, and the webfictionguide page is

Sure, I need something for my traditional weekend review.

Also- I usually just click the user profile and find the story in question that way.

I'm down if you are since I just finished red house down.

I told myself I'd try giving back to this community a bit more so why not? Gotta start somewhere and I like your title.

You don't have to read or review Caelum Lex. Unless you really want to. And you have a LOT of time on your hands haha.

@TanaNari and @whyknotzoidberg great thanks. I'll start reading yours straight away!

@Khronosabre thanks I'll give yours a look, but I might not get around to reviewing it.

Beware that mine is far darker than most... something like a hybrid of "Spawn" and "Game of Thrones". Maybe a helping of Boondock Saints for fun and profit and based (very) loosely on Arthurian mythos.

And I mean the unsanitized version of the Arthurian mythos.


Holy shit dude nice. I'm writing a glowing review right now. You sir, can fucking write.

Have you written anything before this?

@Whyknotzoidberg thanks! I really appreciate you saying that. I've just posted my review too. I didn't list the any of the typos in the review, but I figured I'd give you some feedback here:

Purser (ch 4), meat instead of meet (ch 5), m rcifully (ch 6), u (ch 7) gaurd (ch 11) seamed instead of seemed (ch 12).

There were some I missed as well, but I hope this helps.

I dabbled in writing but none of it's ever been published.

@Tananari no problem, dark doesn't bother me. Yours will take a bit longer to review due to its greater lengths but I think I can say expect it within a week.

Thanks, I site on an ipadvand autocorrect can murder me sometimes.

Yeah. I'm nearing completion of the book (probably roughly 10 chapters left... it's impossible to know for sure). So. There is that.

My review's not going to be as nice as Zoid's... to start with, you go a little heavy on the purple prose and need help with your sentence structure.

I saw this baby recommended here and now I recommend it to pretty much everyone.

I can't begin to describe how much this thing's improved my last ten or twelve chapters. I'll be using it religiously in the rewrite to complete the book.

Everything else looks excellent, however.

Oh yea also, I literally just posted a new chapter, where the mcs actually meet for the first time, don't know if that would affect anything or not. And that Hemingway app is gold btw.

I just posted a new chapter where I ruined the main character's life. AGAIN!

PS- another writing tip. You use "although" a lot. I'd recommend you delete at least 3/4ths of them. Don't feel bad, most writers have a couple favorite words they abuse like that. It's a habit we all have to break.

@Tananari thanks for the feedback. I'll try look out for this in future chapters.

Oh yea also after I finished desert steel, I started price, and I gotta say it's pretty good so far tana.

Thanks. One of the things I *know* is a bit of a weakness... I put too much time into the setup of the school life. I did it for good reason that is totally paying off now that I'm in the late game... but it makes the early story a little slower than it necessarily needs to be.

... I have a habit of playing the long game. There are things foreshadowed in the first three chapters that won't be tapped until the climax of the story. The problem is, since this is a first draft, it means I couldn't predict exactly how much buildup I'd need.

I'm sure there will be a few deleted early chapters in the final edit.

I will follow in the footsteps of the others here and post a little more specific advice for you here to help out. Especially since my review was a

Did I mention I'm a harsh critic? No? Sorry...

Really really really, I would focus on showing things instead of telling them, that was my biggest pet peeve with the story. So much telling how things are when you've got such describing talent, use it to show me how things are. I don't want to hear from you that that guy is hard, I want to see examples of it and form my own conclusion. Readers are smart. They can put together clues if you set them up right. Reveal things to us slowly instead of hammering us with what you believe we should think straight out, it'll make for a more interesting journey and it'll make us more invested and immersed since we'll believe we formed our opinions on our own.

TanaNari already mentioned the purple prose issue which I agree with entirely. You could also spend a little less time explaining some things. Sebastian knew somehow that the digger was going to get out of the machine and look at the body? And there was a whole little explanation as to how he knew that. It was really jarring and bizarre to me. You easily could have left that out entirely and just had the guy get out of the machine and the same thing would have happened. Things like that, just watch out for.

And seriously, female characters. Please. In long-form fiction there is no excuse to not pass the Bechdel test. I know you're going for a Western homage and those typically don't treat women all that well, but it's modern. It's kinda sci-fi. You can change it. Maybe you're already planning to, but if you're not, I'm begging you, get on it haha.

Hope any of this was helpful!