Thanks for the review Gavin Williams

Hi Gavin

Thanks for the review and also for the comment on the site! (Thanks for clearing up the hyperspeed issue - I've definitely always gone for Star Wars over Star Trek and I should really have known better!)

I really enjoyed your review and thought it was one of the most useful and interesting comments on my work that I've probably ever read. It was also pretty insightful (depending on how many chapters you've actually read). I'm glad that you 'got' what was going on regarding plot, theme and characters (a paranoia of the 'amateur' writer!)

Your review highlights some of the points that I've been worrying about and it confirms that I was right to worry about them. Namely, the length of time I've taken to show any kind of positive side to Scott and also the flashbacks / forwards.

I suppose they both come down to the main issue of how to write regularly updating web fiction. If I was doing my normal thing and writing a book, I could go back, re-read, re-write and all that fun stuff. But being only a couple of chapters ahead of what people are reading (at best!) puts the kibosh on that, so you have to try and get it right quicker. (Or write more of it in advance - but do I really sound that organised..?) Also the issue of pacing is very difficult to pin down (hence the Scott characterisation problems which you point out so accurately).

Glad you liked my style / technique. Better you like that and don't like my presentation choices than the other way around! Oh, and if the time-shift of the narrative irked you, then you *really* won't enjoy the current storyline running through May..! It takes place over three timeframes - although I had already decided to try and limit the amount of switching per chapter (as per my earlier forum post).

I think I'll just have to keep learning as I go and hope that any further reviews I get will be as helpful as yours!

Cheers! (btw, I've really been enjoying 'Diggory Franklin' and hope to do a review sometime soon!)


Wilf -- your style is excellent. I know how hard it is to write chapters on the fly and under the gun -- I think you would give yourself an advantage by extending a scene in one time frame, and making that one scene the entire update. They might be shorter updates, or even longer ones, but they will give readers more of your strength (engaging style) and remove that one weakness (bouncing from place to place).

I have no complaints about time shifting in theory. I timeshift in No Man an Island. But I try to control how often, making sure the narrative maintains a flow from scene to scene, and something relates between the time periods surrounding the shift. If I'm writing a review and then I start talking about how tomorrow when it's raining I'll have my kids indoors all day, oh man we're going to have to watch movies and do crafts, going to the park is so much easier -- wait, what was I talking about? See? I didn't give enough context or maintain my point.

Dude, your scenes are awesome, trust in them and extend them. Then, when you shift to a new frame of reference, stay there long enough for readers to get comfortable again. I think having one update with two or three time periods is less to your advantage than three updates, each with their own time period. I hope that helps.

I'm glad to know you're checking out Diggory -- I'd love to have comments and a review! I totally cheat on that story -- Diggory's frame of reference is always chronologically forward, for him and his experience, even when he travels between time periods, so readers don't lose their relationship with his narration. It's vastly different from the experiments I employed in NMAI, with different effects in both stories. I disrupted people on purpose in NMAI and want them to know Diggory very intimately in his story.

I've read all 12 available chapters and look forward to more when a few have gone up (I like reading in big chunks myself). I think you have something compelling between Albert and Jonathan -- the trick with writing reviews (for me) is balancing between the strengths and the areas for improvement -- I try not to be harsh, but I do hold high standards. It's immensely helpful as a reviewer to hear that an author benefited -- thank you. You have a lot of strengths dude, USE them.

Plus, STAR WARS (original flavour) rules all.

Hi Gavin - I posted a reponse to your comment on Dead Heroes but in case you don't see it, here it is;

Hi Gavin - thanks for the article! Being a dyed in the wool sci-fi geek, I've always known that hyperspaces is more 'near-instantaneous' travel compared to warp speed simply being 'very, very fast'. I think I just got caught up in starting a new story and didn't engage my brain. Alternatively, I could make out that I was simply creating realistic dialogue whereby sci-fi geeks don't always have the correct information..! BTW, thanks for your full review on - anyone out there who wants to find out more great online fiction (including Gavin's 'The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin') then head over there!

Wilf -- I totally actually took it at the time as a Trek-geek character not knowing what he was talking about -- and obviously, he got what's coming to him because he got shot later in the chapter. :P