site review request: Godwar Central

I would appreciate a review of my site. I have several stories and novel excerpts on it that I consider creative commons. They range in nature from comedy to tales of cultural dehumanization and are all set in my world of Daverana. My main difficulty is that I'm an old pro (first published in 1979 in Amazons! edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonston, DAW). I am just learning the finer points of the internet. It's a difficult learning curve. I suffered a 15 year writer's block and am still uncertain of whether or not I've lost the magic. I would greatly appreciate your feedback, since I am certain it would be a better way of traveling than following the usual trail of bread crumbs.


Well, the first thing you'll need to do is post a link to your site. ;-)


Chris.


oops. http://www.janraefrank.com


I can be such a ditz at times.


Ok, here's my opinion on the front page. The first thing I noticed was that there's a lot going on, but nothing seems to really stand out except the logo at the top left and the forum at the top right. I was getting a total visual headbanger's fix with the font. Anyhow, the scroll idea is interesting, but it's not followed through with the other areas. Within the other areas, they all kind of blend together because none of them stand out -- say the way that a different-colored header might make them. The other links up above on the top right? Less can sometimes be more, and my gut feeling is that less navigation (expanding links maybe?) would keep readers around and draw them into your site.


The writing didn't appeal to me, so I'll let fans of the style weight on that one.


My quick glance two cents:


-center the main page header & the story scroll (put half the parchment text blocks on the left side of the page?). Yeah, we read left-to-right, but with web pages, the most important bits should go smack dab in the center where it's natural for the reader's eyes to land on it.


-do something different with the navigation links tucked in the upper right hand corner. Not sure how you'd want to do it, but as unidentified plain grey text, they look like google word ads right now (seriously, I was ignoring them as ads until I'd looked at everything else).


-the "Forum" link graphic is pretty, but hard to read. I'd recommend tweaking it just a touch so the individual letters are a bit more defined to improve the legibility.


-possibly shorten the blurb on the scroll (or make the scroll a bit wider) so readers don't actually have to scroll down to read it all. The back story is nice, but shorter/punchier blurbs tend to grab potential readers better.


That's my opinion based on a touch of web writing training and lots of web reading experience. Take it with however much salt you want ;-)