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A Chosen Hero: Feedback

13 days ago

Not that I'm complaining about the comments I do have on it... I would very much appreciate having more comments, feedback, etc. So here I am, shamelessly advertising my story, but in doing so I hope you guys don't mind if I ask a few specific questions.

Namely,

Does it seem too linear?

What about grammatical errors? Were there a lot of those, and was the sentence structure concise? 

What about the story itself? Was it too cliche or predictable? Were there things I didn't explain very well, or was everything fairly easy to understand?

Were the characters flat, or did y'all perceive dynamic depth to them?

Lastly, should I continue this like my original plans specified, or should I call this story good and have my next story idea be something else? If I were to continue it, then the epilogue wouldn't be an epilogue anymore. Rather, it would continue past that stopping point and that branch in general could potentially have a couple solid epilogues. In total I'd estimate from 6-8 epilogues in total. If I continued it that is. 

Such feedback would be greatly appreciated. 

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago

I'd like to be able to choose "no" at the beginning.

Speaking of the beginning, there's tons of grammar errors.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago

Hmm, tried giving a go at reading through the story to provide feedback, but boy is it tough. I did leave a comment which I hope you find useful.

For now I'll just say that when proofreading I encourage you to read it out loud, as this can help catch some hard to spot mistakes. This is a hassle to do when the pages are this long, but it will totally be worth the effort.

The story seemed linear to me, but the fact the end games were more than just simple 'you died xd' means it didn't detract from the story.

I'll see if I can find the time to go through it in more depth later, but I hope this helps for now.

TL;DR
Looked pretty darn good to me, since the mistakes I did notice were only noticeable when I was really looking for them. With that said the first page sorta sucked, felt weirdly out of place.
I highly encourage you to just write what you want to write.
And finally, I'll try to get something more substantial out when I have more time. Reviewing a storygame thoroughly is harder than I anticipated.

EDIT P.S.
I should mention I am pretty crap at spotting writing mistakes when not really focused on looking for them. Doesn't mean you shouldn't eradicate them all tho!

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
I'm going to be tackling all the contest games and leaving reviews...soon? Soonish anyway.

I don't do serious reviews from a phone which has been the main holdup.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago

An idea I had was reviewing everyone else's storygames and making a thread guilting the others entrants into reviewing my own storygame. I'm lazy, so I haven't yet; however, you could if you wanted more.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
Fatal flaw in this plan in that people can't be guilted unless they first possess a sense of shame. Unlikely, here.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
Commended by BerkaZerka on 10/11/2017 9:22:58 PM
Ask, and you shall receive. Very important note: these comments and opinions are likely worth exactly what you paid for them:

"Two sides on the verge of destroying each other, but there is hope. In the form of a hero. Now this will person..., will they be able to rise into the mantle of hero? "

What? The first sentence doesn't have a verb. Neither does the second. I'm guessing you were going for effect here, but as the very first words I read related to this story, it doesn't work for me. A simple, "There are" at the start and a colon in place of the period after "hope" would be more correct and would really go a long ways for me. Then the ellipse (...) followed by a comma? I don't know what to do with that. "Now this will person?" I'm guessing that's a typo, but I still read it four times trying to understand it. Sometimes simple works: "Will this person be able to become the hero the world needs?"

On to the story:

Any special reason the same blurb from the main page is repeated on the first page of the story? I know I've done similar things and often get comments suggesting that it's not needed because people have already read your intro on the page where they clicked the button to start the story.

Page: "A Boy."

When I read these stories, I've never been a fan of the option to read the background. If the background is important, it should simply be part of the story. The only time I've seen this effective in a CYOA is when the story is more "game" and you would likely be playing it many times; AND when the background includes instructions and directions. Then I might want to not read multiple pages of background the fifth time I read the story. But in a regular story adding that option feels like you're forcing a choice on me just so that you can say the story provides options and isn't linear...when it actually is.

"As the son of your father." I get the idea that you're trying to present here (I think), but that seems really repetitive to me. I'm pretty sure I'm the son of my father and I don't think there's any son who isn't the son of their father. I know you're trying to introduce the grand priest, but this seems "off" to me.

This whole page seems like a strange place to start the story, but maybe not. After reading the intro, I'm expecting action and lots of it. I'm expecting conflict and lots of it. Maybe even a world at war. And I'm also expecting to read about the hero. Instead, the story is now about me. And to be honest, in the first paragraph, I'm pretty darn boring.

Then there is an issue with tense and person. At the start, I'm expecting heroes and a world actively at war. The first sentence starts out with me talked about in the past, where I was. Then it shifts in the second sentence to "you could" which shifts a little bit (what is that, present perfect maybe?). So I hang out reading about my past, but then the second paragraph jumps into active present tense! Whoa, what just happened? The most effective way to have a story is to maintain the same tense. Yes, there are always exceptions, but moving from one tense to another can be very jarring to the reader. In this case you've gone through three tenses in two paragraphs. And in the second paragraph, I think you slip back into some other forms of past tense as well. Man, I don't know if this story is happening now, while I read it, or if it happened before.

As I continue to read, ending a sentence with "for" grinds on my nerves. But I don't notice that as much as two sentences later I read about my knight training. What the hell? Last paragraph, I was a priest, my dad was a priest, and all I did was read books (apparently outside in the hot sun). In fact, the story said that was all I did! But now, quite suddenly, I have knight training. Maybe I do that a night (ha, get it?), but it came out of nowhere and didn't seem to fit with the story I've been reading up to this point (and why is the "K" in knight capitalized?).

At this point my mind is starting to blur because I'm not sure what is going on. Very next I read about "the second thing." Now I assume this "second thing" is in relation to the "two major things" from the first paragraph -- but I don't know what the hell the FIRST thing is!?! I have no idea! If I read back two paragraphs for the second time, I'm going to guess this knight training this was the first thing, but I'm not sure -- nowhere did the story tell me that was the first thing, or that it was sudden, it just appeared in the text. But before I dwell on that, a floating mystical witch just appeared in front of me out of thin air! What is going on here?

Next she starts yelling at me. Am I asleep? Nope, at least not that I'm aware. But wait, while she appeared directly in front of me, I averted my eyes and then I have to turn my head to see her. Did she move? If not, why did I move my head?

I like the way you tried to weave their names into the natural flow of the text, but this sounds forced and I honestly had to read it two or three time to figure out who was talking. I know you don't want to write "he said" and "She said" 100 times, but sometimes that really does work well. In this case there are two paragraphs where the same person is talking, but when I saw the change in paragraph, I naturally thought it was the other person talking (I think).

Wait, was I standing? I thought I was sitting down, reading and relaxing. But I just bowed, so I guess I was standing.

"lack a lot of confidence" is really hard to read. "Lack confidence" would have the same effect and would be much easier to read.

Whew. Uh... I guess I just made it through the first page. It that enough, or should I continue later on?

P.S. I really don't mean to sound like your story sucks. Remember, everyone will have their own opinion of everything you ever read. Someone will ALWAYS disagree with what you write, and nearly ANYONE will be able to suggest changes to anything you write, so do take my thoughts and comments with a grain of salt. I only provide my comments because you really, specifically asked for some.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
@Endmaster should probably commend this.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
Wait he's on his shitty tablet. @BerkaZerka then.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
Uwala

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
Why, thank you!

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago

This is absolutely brilliant. Thanks to others who commented on the story, but as for this review...simply astounding.

This is exactly the kind of stuff I was wanting tbh, not that I'm asking tor everyone to bash on me or my story, but taking it apart in such a way like this is really beneficial to me. 

As for your last question, (I know it's sarcastic, but I'd like to answer it all the same) if you would like to continue reading then please do so. I would appreciate it, but at the same time...if it really is that painful to read, then feel free to abstain from actually finishing the story. 

Thanks Ogre. Much appreciated.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
Actually, no, that was a serious question. I was worried this was too brutal and you wouldn't want me to write more, but I really didn't get into the story and flow stuff...or the good points! And honestly, I would say it wasn't painful to read, just many points that were confusing and jarring at times.

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

12 days ago
So hey, I'm having fun and still have a bit o time. So here goes.

Once again, with the warning that this is only my personal opinion. 99% of others here are likely to disagree with me.

Next up: "Background: The World"

First, a navigational point. I really don't like "back" navigation options. While there are legitimate options for them, normal reading options shouldn't include them. Why? Primarily because it simply interrupt the flow. If I read page 1, then go to page 2, if I go back, then I am presented with page 1 again. I've already read it, so when I see it displayed again, it is difficult. Sure, I can skip to the bottom, but it takes me out of the flow of the story. And sure, I've used them, but even when I've used them, I didn't like them. There's even a story or two that I've setup that actually have a variable that does nothing more than hide the text from the reader when they visited a page a second time. Minor point, but still.

First sentence starts out great. But by the second sentence, it's off. Famous for wars? Someone or something might be infamous, but no one really should be "famous" for wars and strife.

First sentence, second paragraph: typo: "You cast you mind." Maybe you meant "You cast your mind?"

The background with information about the holy order of knights is great info! Now if I had this before I read the first page about me being a priest and knight at the same time, that would have been helpful. I'd love to read more detail about the people involved in the history, at least a little. I realize it's not key to the story, but having even just some names of the Dellandians and the Grand Priest (though I can understand if the grand priest is THE grand priest, but if he is a little more exposition there could be good).

In paragraph four, "it was decided" is a little confusing -- WHO decided? If it were the Dellandians, that could be more clear and setup more conflict. Same with the "Regulation." If this is setting up the conflict between the Dellandians and the Holy Priest, I'd love to see it be even more clear and obvious. I'm a little confused when it says no standing armies were allowed, but the Holy Order could exist. If the Holy Order is a an army of knights, how can standing armies be prohibited?

I was confused with the reference to Alessandra on this page. That must be the girl from the first page, but this is history, so it seems out of place here. I'd almost like to see a little background and history here related to Alessandra as well to make the relationship a little more clear as to who she is and how I know her.

On to the next page, "The Man"

Once again, in the first three sentences it seems to jump around. "you saw the guy?" Wait, what guy? What's going on here? Why are we talking about a guy? The line, "You think about the first time you saw the guy," seems to be logical to appear after we have some context or some discussion of "the guy." Maybe we saw him again? Maybe we saw someone that looked like him, so we are reminded of him. Then the next two sentences, it is again, jarring. We're thinking about some guy we saw. Then I'm jumping back to two years ago. Then Alessandra and I met. This just feels like it is all over the place. I don't know if this captures your idea here, but does this sound better to you?

Years ago your parents had forced you to meet with a girl. You didn't want to, but they didn't give you any choice. When you met her, you realized she felt the same way, and the two of you found something in common. After some small talk, you realized the two of you had even more in common. You wandered around the grounds of the castle, hoping to find ways to annoy your parents. Finding nothing interesting in the castle ground, you headed out into the royal forest. There you found the mysterious cabin...and the face you would not soon forget.

Different order, a few different ways to describe it. Again, ask 20 people for different opinions on this, and you will get 20 opinions. And I'm sure that 20 other people could criticize what I wrote and rewrite it their own way as well. But I think it flows a bit better the direction I wrote it instead of how you wrote it. Do you see the differences?

I like the options on this page. I like the way that both options appear attractive at first, when they are presented. But then they're listed as a curse and a blessing. I'm not sure why anyone would intentionally choose a curse. But if it were just a "dark" choice, that would give me more incentive to select that option instead of the blessing. But then, on the next page, if I select "sate your curiosity," it doesn't appear to have made a difference which of the two options I selected on the previous page. This is one area where "serious" CYOA reader often have strong opinions. If I make a choice on one page and it has no effect later in the story, that appears to be a false choice. I like how you did make an immediate effect and different text upon the selection, but is that the only effect of that choice?

If I do choose "sate your curiosity," then the entire story is just five pages with no actual choices. I would suspect that's where you might get some low ratings. Many readers, especially of CYA stories, really want to see options. In this case, and honestly, this is how my first read went through this story, this is a really short story with zero choices.

I do like the page lengths. Many people have a preferred page length, but I don't, really, I want to see contained information on a page and logical progression. These page lengths seem fine to me. I do pause when I see a link for "continue," or other link without a choice, though again, I've done that myself when I feel the need to break up text. These seem to work well there. However, there do seem to be, overall, a limited number of options and unique paths through the story. For some that doesn't matter much, but for me personally, with a CYOA I like to see lots of options and endings.

As for your questions about continuing this story or writing another story, with this site, I'd always suggest moving on. If you have reached the point where you have finished a story enough to publish it (even if only for a contest), I think you should publish it and go on. Get new ideas out there. Take feedback from the story and move on. Read more, write more! If you take this one down and then make changes, anyone who has already read this will likely never even know that you've made changes because of how the site works. If this one is a flop, leave it there to remind you and write more and better stories! Always move forward!

I do hope this helps!

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

10 days ago

I'm not sure how I (I'm glad that I found it) missed this, but I'm just now getting back to reading this and this time I do have a comment/question. 

Regarding the major linearity/lack of branches in the story, if I were to continue this, then that problem would be largely solved. For example, the curse branch that was more or less the same as the first few pages of the blessing path, would be entirely different. It would feature an epilogue or two in of itself, and the blessing path would also be extended to nearly double the length.

Aside from this half of the story, originally, the first page featured a choice wherein the reader would be able to choose whether or not they would be a boy a girl. That choice would then make the reader either Erron, or Alessandra. Then Alessa would have her own cursed and blessed paths, so the story, theoretically, would be quadrupled in size to it's contest entry counter part.

With all of this said, do you still recommend i move on to another story?

A Chosen Hero: Feedback

10 days ago
I think you create a story with great power and effect with something like you've suggested with the initial choice of boy or girl, and then seeing the story from that point of view, especially if there are different options and choices based on that happening. You could even have a neat path that starts there, has a number of things happen to the person (different for each, of course), then a meeting of the two from different points of view. Realize that when you do this, it does require MUCH more writing because when a person reads your story, they only see 1/4 of what you wrote. For an extreme version of this, do check out The Adventures of Rory Thorn. In that story, I wrote almost 16,000 words, but when a reader reads it, it is a very short story, only about 3,000 words. When you have massive branching, that the serious side effect. Many writers don't really like this because then they write a LOT and readers don't see all that they wrote! You will have to decide for yourself if you can live with writing a huge amount of text that you know most readers will never see.

As for the moving on -- of course, this is completely up to you. In my opinion, literally every single one of my stories I could take down and add to and make changes. I don't for two big reasons. The first is simply that no one will see them. When you re-publish, no one knows you re-published. It doesn't show up on any lists. Those who have read and rated your story have a very low probability of reading it again unless you specifically ask them to. The second is really that for me hitting the publish button is huge. That's the point at which I'm ready for people to see what I've created. I don't take that lightly and I really don't publish until it's ready (at least as ready as I can get it). The only times I've taken stories down is to fix obvious problems, errors, or typos (and I still have missed some of those). So for me, personally, when it's put up, you get what's there! I think if I started taking down stories to add more, I'd only have one story published and I'd just keep adding to it literally forever. That's why I want to move on to the next story and just make the next story bigger and better.

In the case you describe, where you didn't get to put some things in this story, personally, I'd just write another along the same path. In other words, you want to write another story that has boy vs girl and splitting paths? Go ahead, write a different one! It can be in a similar setting even, maybe with a different starting point. Heck, it could be the exact same world, but maybe fast-forward a couple hundred years, or a few hundred in the past! But, of course, it is your story, so it's your choice completely.