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Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
(TW//blood, Yonic imagery, fantasy racism)

As the title implies I’d really appreciate criticism of the first seven thousand words of my fantasy novel, please rip it apart so I can make it better.

Thank you so much for reading and I really appreciate any suggestions you have :)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Commended by TharaApples on 3/10/2021 3:15:55 PM
I assume you didn't mean for that /edit to be there so I removed it, it does something weird when you open the link.

At a glance, this is a lot of characters you're juggling, and I'd suggest looking over this article on dialogue punctuation, because yours is pretty inconsistent. I ran into a few other punctuation errors, but that would cover the majority.

The setting and political situation is interesting, a bit on the grim side maybe but obviously very well thought out. But there's a lot to try and absorb even without all the jumping around. And of course....I honestly don't know shit about GoT, but I'm getting some heavy GoT vibes just the same. The title really doesn't help. (Additionally, Tyfling may be a little too close to Tiefling, and the name of the language suggests that was the original intent. Also if you didn't know, Bolsheviks were a real IRL thing. Always double check those fantasy nouns when a cool sounding word suddenly oops into your head.)

And now, we're not a site to make a fuss about such matters, but if you're posting this elsewhere you might want to consider a warning about....well whatever you'd call what was going on with that poor elf secretary. That sort of sudden introduction of body horror was the only wtf moment for me and was a big escalation from what had been like 'eh, there's some slaves' before that. Good job there getting a reaction. Most of these factions seem pretty fucking horrible so I guess I'm rooting for the flame princess by default, even though they're apparently the aggressors in the war. Although at this point she's the one I feel like I know the least about. Gawn and Oskar seem much more like protagonist material.

Now as far as the actual writing, besides the punctuation stuff I mentioned everything here seemed really well done, except I think you have a tendency to overwrite just a bit. There were a few places where it seemed like you were dancing around too much and to a distracting degree when more straightforward language would have done the job better. In the beginning particularly when I was tripping over lines like 'ligaments of light' and 'fingers of fulmination' used to describe pretty mundane things. I know it's such a small thing overall, but we're talking about the make or break moment where you've got just a few paragraphs to draw a reader in and make them forget they're reading a story.

Careful too of overusing some of the more distracting dialogue attributions, sprinkling them around as seasoning is one thing but you don't want too many people warbling and sneering and barking and so on, it gets distracting after a point, while 'said' and simple synonyms remain nicely invisible.

"Oskar”, smiled Gawn, “I thought you’d agreed not to creep up on me?”

Lines that the above I'm really not sure of. You can smile while you're speaking, but can you smile the words themselves? I'm going to summon @Gower for that one.

Oh yeah and maybe just come out with the fact the sheets are soaking with menstrual blood, because that was a really confusing paragraph that really didn't need to be.

The sun sunk further down the sanguine skyline: the damask dawn burning bright, as if the cotton clouds themselves had caught fire.

Great poetic feeling like, except is that a dawn or a sunset? (Or some weirdness caused by the two suns?)

There were other lines I liked quite a bit also. Early on the one comparing the council to a flock of pheasants stood out for just perfectly got a sense of the scene across.

As for bigger picture things, I'd like to have a better sense of where all these factions are as far as their geographic relations and what exactly is driving the actual war. And the number of characters still seems like a lot, are you going to be jumping around at this pace for the entire book? Is it absolutely necessary for them all to be POV characters with presumably arcs and all that rather than just major characters a smaller cast meets? This novel seems like it's going to have to be gigantic and that it's also going to give me whiplash. Nice touch so far in ending every chapter in a way that leaves the reader with a question to be answered, that's a good tactic even if you can't sustain it for the entire thing. The little tidbits of worldbuilding info in between chapters are good for a breather too, although it might be more useful if they gave info that was...well, more useful. There's still some Fantasy Nouns floating around in this I don't have an entirely clear idea about, besides the political and geographic stuff.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

"Oskar”, smiled Gawn, “I thought you’d agreed not to creep up on me?”

I would do that as

"Oskar."  Gawn smiled.  "I thought you'd agreed not to creep up on me?”


The punctuation (I used a period) goes in the quotation mark, and you avoid using "smiled" as dialogue attribution.  What I'm going for there is "Oskar" as a standalone sentence, so I put a period there.  Like, "Ogre.  Seriously.  Stand downwind of me."  I grimaced.  "I mean it."

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
I’ll change it to that as soon as possible :)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
First of all, thank you so much for your advice. Honestly I wasn’t expecting anything as thorough and detailed, especially from what seems to be a site admin? (Sorry if that’s incorrect).

-I’ll certainly look at the article on punctuation and make adjustments to the punctuation accordingly, that’s very helpful as English isn’t my first language so I’m still getting to grips Woth my grammar.

-Are Tiefling’s copyrighted or something? If so I may rename the race as a whole as they’re so far removed from the original idea that they’re basically a new race at this point. Also, honestly I had no idea that Bolsheviks were a thing that’s another thing to rename.

-I’ll be sure to put TW before posting further extracts on future (if it would be okay to do so? I wouldn’t want to spam the forums).

-I guess I’d say Gawn, Darnun and Aithne are the protagonists

-I’ve received the overwriting remark on several other sites so I’m going to go over and rewrite these chapters to make sure they’re less wordy! I appreciate that advice a lot.

-I will change the dialogue attributions!

-With the period paragraph, I’ve had a lot of different advice from a lot of different friends but I’m going to go with yours and rewrite it to be more obvious. I promise it’s important to the story though!!

-I’ll add that it’s sunset

-for geographic locations I’m working on a map to go at the start of the Book. I didn’t want to start with a huge info dump at the start of what is driving the war, but I have reasons I’ll be seeding in.

-I’m thinking of cutting down the cast of characters but it’s likely there’ll be 10 characters with a 10,000 word story each, making for 150,000 words. I’ve already written 50,000 words.

-I’ll make the worldbuilding more relevant to the plot at the time! I have a 400,000 word worldbuilding document but I used it to learn how to write English, so I’m afraid most of it is incredibly poorly written.

Again, thank you: I’ll put an updated version with corrections and the next five chapters up on the forums by tomorrow or so. :)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Honestly I wasn’t expecting anything as thorough and detailed
Well I wasn't planning that either, I had just meant to skim it on my break and it interested me more than I expected. I am however terminally slow with feedback so don't get used to it.
-Are Tiefling’s copyrighted or something?
Tieflings are a D&D thing and belong to Wizards of the Coast. Despite D&D blatantly ripping off a lot from Tolkien others in its early years, they are now very protective of their own creations. I do think you might need to put in a short line of exposition somewhere early on explaining what the race actually is, because Tyflings gives the fantasy reader certain ideas even if not wholly accurate ones, and changing it to something unrecognizeable would leave them with nothing at all. Re: that elf scribe again, one of the things that stuck out as odd was how matter of fact and casually it was described. Darnun is the POV character, her perceptions are coloring everything here, so this wouldn't shock her even a little bit? I know with the scene before that with the human slave it was showing how she cared about humans, so I thought this was underlining she didn't give a crap about elves, but even if that's the case reacting and then rationalizing it might be a thing that happens. Also, she's traveling with an elf, so I'm a little confused. The elf didn't seem to react either for that matter, so is this all just the most normal thing ever in Estria?
-I guess I’d say Gawn, Darnun and Aithne are the protagonists
Originally when I started writing this I was going to say that I wasn't really feeling Aithne, but that's because most of her parts in this first section seemed more just describing events in a detached third person way rather than actually being from her perspective. This is improved in Chapter Eleven of the later sections though.
-I’ve received the overwriting remark on several other sites...With the period paragraph, I’ve had a lot of different advice from a lot of different friends but I’m going to go with yours and rewrite it to be more obvious.
I somehow skipped mentioning 'miasma of melancholy' in my first list, it's also not really an issue now that the others were removed. That scene with Gawn is sooo much smoother now.
-I’ll add that it’s sunset
That one was really just a goof of putting dawn instead of dusk, but then I got to overthinking it when I remembered there were two suns and wanted some clarification. But I see it's fixed now and still a great line.
-for geographic locations I’m working on a map to go at the start of the Book. I didn’t want to start with a huge info dump at the start of what is driving the war, but I have reasons I’ll be seeding in.
A map would be great, any particular program you're using? And avoiding a huge infodump is wise, that kind of thing is a cancer among fantasy authors that really only a few can pull off. But it's something that could potentially be hinted at more in dialogue or a line of narration here and there.
-I have a 400,000 word worldbuilding document
Christ. Anyhow, I've read the rest, will tackle it in the other thread when I can. Just finally felt up to putting this post back together after losing what I originally wrote and then falling asleep at the keyboard on subsequent attempts.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Yep, totally going to comment on the rest, any ol day now. (How many chapters total are you up to by now?)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Don’t push yourself too much!

(I’m currently on 50 unedited chapters, these ones are very rough and read like shit so I’m slowly but surely going through them to make sure they aren’t awful, and I have another 5 chapters thatre properly edited to add to the google document in the next 3 hours. The new version will also have a map and I’ll stick it in the other thread!)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
God I’m so sorry for the late reply, works being kicking my ass and I’ve only just got home. Lemme go through everything in a single message here so I don’t end up accidentally spam my own post.

-Being slow with feedback is totally fine! We all have things to do and I’m glad for any advice you guys can give me. You’re basically doing unpaid work, so don’t worry about it at all! I’m glad it could be of some interest though :)

-In later chapters theres a lot more explanation on the human/tyfling race, but I’m almost 100% going to change the name in version 4 (which I hopefully should upload to the other thread within 2/3 hours or so). There’s also a character name that could provide foreshadowing so that’s going in there too, just to see how people react.

-Estria is probably the worst place in the entire world, so this scene is meant to show how awful it is (along with the guys being trapped in Ambrâ at the start of the chapter). If it’s too jarring in subsequent versions I’ll change it, but yeah I’m trying to subtextually show how weird Estria is (I think I mention the carnivorous horses?).

-I’m going to rewrite Aithne’s first chapter anyway so I’ll try to make it seem more from her perspective, it does sort of narrow down into her POV a bit later on.

-Honestly Gawn’s first chapter was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever written, I’m glad you like it!

-I’ve had a handrawn map that I’ve been using for various things for a while, but I’m creating a version in some worldbuilding program I found online. I’d prefer for the final version to look somewhat handrawn, but the version that’ll be in the latest version of the google document is more realistic looking. I looked at a few writing tutorials before I started and the advice on info dumps seemed consistent.

-I’m aware that 400,000 words is a lot, but depending on how much interest there is I’ll likely post it somewhere online. There’s some interesting info in there, but I’d rather finish the book first in case I decide part of the lord isn’t canon anymore.

Please get yourself some rest!! Sleeping on your keyboard is never a hood thing. And thank you, so so much :)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Commended by TharaApples on 3/10/2021 3:16:14 PM

GoT vibes:

His beard was dyed a deep blue.

That aside, D&D also seems like an influence, but then again, D&D is influenced by many things, so some similarities might be just a common point of the inspiration (and I'm not just talking about Tieflings, heh).

Other than that, reading this reminds me a little of reading the 7th book of Wheel of Time without reading any other books first (I think it was the 7th). Mind you, it is not quite the same, not as many words I don't understand, and the character's here feel like they're being introduced more, but...are Mouncks Monks?

Many Character's Problem

You seem to have an idea of what you're doing, so I won't ramble about this, suffice to say that multiple povs and characters can work well, they're just trickier than one protagonist stories.

The chapters you've shared establish stuff well, and I'm curious where it'll go, just be mindful of the pacing I guess. Think of where each characters' pov is going and work towards that. Focussed chapters, and keeping things tight, tends to be important to not have the reader get lost and bored when you've got many pov characters. Stuff is split into chapters that have solid individual endings, so things are looking good.

This brings me to my next point (that Mizal [and others] brought up).


The good news is that editing stuff to not be overwritten isn't the hardest thing to do, but getting rid of lines you like will still be unpleasant (if it comes to that). You probably have some idea of how to do this, but I'll offer my thoughts in case they might prove helpful.

Creative descriptions and strong imagery is good, but thinking about where and why you are using it helps to avoid going overboard (this ties into pacing). Since you have the scenes written, you can try to cut all unnecessary words/sentences and see if things still make sense.

Mind you, doing that might have you go too far (people probably don't want a barebones outline, lol), but it is a good way to help identify the core of your scenes, and then have the more superfluous stuff exist to support those cores. Foreshadowing (by mentioning world information that will be relevant later) is another thing you don't want to cut, even if it doesn't matter for the current scene directly.

Alternatively, just watch out for where you get more descriptive, and then examine the impact of that description to see if it is worth slowing down the pace for (as generally, more words = slower pace). Slow pace isn't bad tho! Variety tends to be more interesting, but it is all about the goal of the scene and your style of writing.


Dialogue punctuation is a common mistake, but getting used to it can feel a little weird. Ask if you have any questions and someone should be able to answer.

Other than that, there were some small mistakes, but overall it reads well.

first followers home, should be: first follower's home.

Apostrophe here signifies possession, the home belongs to the first follower.

his families spear, should be: his family's spear.

Same concept. Families is plural for family, like cities is for city (or spies/spy).

Anyway, I'm not here to proofread, so I'll leave it at that. As I said, it reads well to me.

General Points

This section can also be considered as either nitpicks or 'stuff to maybe think about'.

  • Total Transcription Scribe

Having someone write down everything that happens reminds me of stenographers, and I believe stenographers don't write in plain English but use a shorthand of some kind.

Ah, they've got 'advanced technologies' to help them. Wiki Link for Stenotype.

This also reminds me of a character from the Kingkiller Chronicle who wrote down stories as he was told them (again, real-time writing), and he used a code shorthand thing to write faster.

Anyway, in the text it says her hands have been replaced with a 'pair of inky pens', and that 'One Tyfling, one Estrian elf and one stoutfolk enter the room' was written down.

First, the word 'Tyfling' is like 'human', so I think it shouldn't be capitalised? Not 100% on this when it comes to fantasy stuff, as there might be a reason Tyfling's are written like that.

Anyway, consider this:

  1. Finger-ends replaced with pens. This is more pens, so faster writing! The image is different tho.
  2. Change nothing but if someone looks at the writing directly they won't be able to understand it (or they'll remark on it not being plain common).
  3. Change nothing because it is not needed (lol).
  • Spy/Soldier

the golden ratio soldier was screaming and kicking her legs

I think you referred to her as a spy earlier. Calling her a soldier here stood out slightly, but it isn't necessarily a mistake (which is why I'm pointing this out here).

  • The sun sunk further down the sanguine skyline: the damask dawn burning bright, as if the cotton clouds themselves had caught fire.

Mizal mentioned this line, but I wanted to point it out for a different reason.

Earlier you had written: but saw nothing but the blue dawn drowning the fields on the horizon.

Is the sun blue? Does it shift? Thinking of cotton burning I imagine more red/orange than blue, but fire can be blue, so it could be a context thing that makes sense in universe.

You do also mention a sanguine skyline (which happens at dawn/dusk?), I imagine what colour you get depends on the atmosphere too, but now I'm getting a little off track (this is a fantasy story after all). Anyway, my point is that the description here seems to be more based on our sun, so I thought I'd point it out.

Oh, while I'm talking about suns, did you consider the scientific viability (as in, existing according to physics and stuff) of your planet/solar system? I generally assume no, and if you did I wouldn't notice (lol), but I'm sure some people do enjoy doing that. Anyway, I ask because you have a 400k worldbuilding document, hehe.

Anyway, as I was rereading what I wrote, I realise there could be two suns (which would render the above a moot point, whoops).

  • Human Levels of Thought

Why are human's the standard? Obviously, humans exist in our world, and your readers are (probably) going to be humans, but the PAIs seemed to be written as an in-universe things.

Anyway, humans were mentioned as a superior race (alongside Tyflings), so them being the standard can make sense. Mind you, not everyone seems to think Tyflings are a superior race tho, aha.

Speaking of races, are elves just tall skinny humans with long ears (physically speaking)? Just curious.

I'll add that I like the fantasy nouns (& names), they didn't read like shit, which is my main fear when I see them (and a mistake I should stop making).

Future Feedback

If you write fast enough to be capable of spamming the forum, just write three posts worth of content before posting, heh.

Anyway, don't worry about that, people will let you know if you spam (and you won't get banned since it is clear you've put in effort and aren't trolling etc). Worst case scenario is you get less feedback since it requires more of a commitment to give when there is more to read.

(But if you get feedback multiple times you'll probably get less anyway, because stuff gets improved and the setting won't be something drastically different).

I will say that asking more specific questions (or follow up questions) might help in getting responses if you're asking consistently.

Other than that, I have one final question. What size font is that?

(Story's looking good, keep writing!)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Firstly, thanks for your feedback! I’ll try to answer any questions you’ve asked in a brief manner :).

This story is pretty much exclusively inspired by the following things:
-DnD and pathfinder
-The warhammer 40,000 universe
-The game of thrones lore books (I’ve never actually read the proper series and probably won’t unless it actually gets finished).

-in short: Mouncks are monks. A longer explanation: the Mouncks are the children of the shepherd’s all male fighting force. The faction is basically femdom central so if you’re not genetically pure as a male you get castrated and either become a servant or a Mounck. The ‘genetically pure’ males basically get treated like livestock.

-I’m going through the writing and trying to establish pace and removing bits of purple prose.

-I’ll double check for apostrophe flaws in the writing :)

- I’ll go through and make sure spies are spies and soldiers are soldiers.

-There are two suns that revolve around each other, the planet revolves around the suns so it’s orbit is pretty inconsistent. The moon revolves around the planet, which also fucks up the orbit more. Essentially this makes days somewhat irregular, and light bouncing off the blue surface of the moon can sometimes have a blueish tint to it. This also interacts with his light filters through Aetherium, an element naturally found high in the atmosphere but at that point I’m rambling about elements ect. I can DM you the elements worldbuilding doc if you want? (This is definitely not an excuse for having irregular days in DND campaigns, promise).

-Short answer: humans are a good frame of reference for the readers. Long answer: the adventurer’s league conducts most of the research of foreign places with their Maester division, as a predominantly human organisation using humans is just the easiest way for them to go about things. Saying that, I should probably give some sort of reference to who’s writing the PAI’s in future.

-Elves are humanoids that originated in the glimmering island around 7000 SDAT years ago, so they aren’t related to humans. Most of them have very very dark skin, and small eyes from living so high up in the world: so they look almost stereotypically alien. They have long ears that twist back slightly. Both male and female elves are capable of breastfeeding and there are a lot of biological differences between them and humans. So yes sort of stereotypical, no they’re not ripped straight from lord of the rings in my opinion.

-in future I’ll make sure to ask specific questions.

-It’s size 8, in the newest version it should be size 12; links to google docs seem to fuck up the placement for some reason.

Thank you! I’m about to go and do a last read through of the next few chapters (I’m editing what I’ve already written) and should have something to post by tomorrow evening or so. Thank you so so much for your feedback, it truly is incredibly helpful. I’m going to try and dedicate some time to interacting with the site (giving reviews, taking part in competitions ect ect) so I’m giving as well as taking.

Also, I’m just going to assume it’s okay to make fun of children in the newbie section if they’re annoying?

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
In response to your last question, yes.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

Well, first thing that sticks out to me... What fucking font size are you using? Even at 150%, it's irritatingly small. :p

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
The font size is 8, which looking back on it was a stupid fucking decision. A lot of the more basic criticisms in this thread (eg: grammar, font size and general presentation) have been solved in this version:
(At least I hope so).
As per people’s requests, I’m going to keep all the discussion to this thread:
So I don’t spam the forums and can easily have all the information I need in one place.
Thanks (also side note but the cupcakes you made wayyy back look delicious)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

Thank you! ^_^

And I'd definitely recommend writing in size 12.

In fact, interesting and very helpful little tidbit of information. If you ever plan on sending a novel in to a publishing company, there is a VERY specific way that you need to format your writing, or else the publishers will just throw your novel straight in the trash. It needs to be a particular size and font with a particular kind of spacing between each of the lines. Can't remember off the top of my head, but if you look up "How to format a novel" you should probably find it.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

Okay, going to do an actual review now. Not sure why, but I'm in a particularly nitpicky mood, so:

“My lords, My ladies, my princess”, the man announced, taking a knee out of respect, “may I present you with an alternative arrangement?”

Good opening line. Right at the beginning of the story, you know that the protagonist is surrounded by royalty and that they're presumably discussing something important, so it's a pretty interesting place to start. Needs some tweaking though. "My ladies" shouldn't start with a capital M following a comma. And, at the end of the sentence, you put the comma outside of the speech bubble instead of inside. Also, I think that it should be a period after "respect" instead of a comma and the following quote should start with a capital, eg:

“My lords, my ladies, my princess,” the man announced, taking a knee out of respect. “May I present you with an alternative arrangement?”

(Gower, please correct me if I'm wrong. You write more good than me.)

Next line,

He had interrupted the conversation that started minutes earlier.

Unnecessary information. We don't need to know that the conversation started minutes earlier. Just "He interrupted the conversation" would be preferable. Also, best to identify to the readers who "he" is right at the start. At the beginning of a story, every character you introduce is a new character, so you want the readers to be able to differentiate the characters easily. Using names or other defining qualities like "the guard" or "the dark haired stranger" is preferable to using "he" or "she", to make sure the reader doesn't get the characters confused.

Reading on, we have some really nice imagery going on here, I like how you describe the surroundings. It's quite poetic. That said, I'm surprised that you seem to be writing this in past tense. Third person POV is generally written in present tense. For example:

He had interrupted the conversation

The cloth structure had been caressed by long ligaments of light

The smell of mourning-father bark had drifted through the encampment

 ... Really not sure why this is written in past tense, but if there isn't a particular reason then I'd definitely suggest switching it to present tense, eg:

He interrupted the conversation.

The cloth structure was caressed by long ligaments of light

The smell of mourning-father bark drifted through the encampment

Also, while I really like the description of the protagonist's surroundings and think you should keep it, I might suggest pushing it back a little in the story. Your opening line has gotten the readers invested in the conversation, but now you're taking the reader away from the conversation to describe what the tent looks like. I'd say describe the surroundings a bit later and give us some more of the conversation first.

“I refuse to believe that our enemy can simply be defeated with mere words, look how they left us to starve less than a year ago!” One woman warbled.

Again, having a name or description for the character will help the readers to identify new characters. "A sunken eyed old woman" or "A plump, middle aged woman" would be preferable to just "A woman," or how are the readers supposed to tell her apart from the other women in the tent?

“My dear Brentun,” said a secondary figure:

Same issue, but even worse since we're given literally no information about the character at all. (I actually assumed it was a woman until the next paragraph clarified that it was a man.)

GTG now, but I'll continue reading the rest later... Holy crap I did not get far. :p

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
>He had interrupted the conversation that started minutes earlier.

My read on this was that it was followed by a little time jump backwards to detail the conversation, and then the blue beard man butting in at the end had been this guy, interrupting it.

I agree it could be a little clearer though. If she'd simply mentioned he had a blue beard in either the beginning or the end, that'd be a significant and easy to remember detail.

What this whole thing actually did teach me though was that I'm REALLY out of practice at reading anything but second person with present tense, normal prose now all just feels so weird.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

Oh, okay. I didn't get very far... But yeah, that is kind of an awkward way to start. Beginning with a line of dialogue and then writing the scene that led up to it... I wonder if there's a way to make it a bit clearer to the readers. Will have to have a think about it. ^_^

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

Avery:  Also, I think that it should be a period after "respect" instead of a comma and the following quote should start with a capital, eg:

“My lords, my ladies, my princess,” the man announced, taking a knee out of respect. “May I present you with an alternative arrangement?”

Since "My lords, my ladies, my princess, may I present you with an alternative arrangement" is all one sentence, it should look like this:

“My lords, my ladies, my princess,” the man announced, taking a knee out of respect, “may I present you with an alternative arrangement?”

Commas always separate an internal attribution that interrupts a complete sentence.

If you want, you can have it be

“My lords, my ladies, my princess,” the man announced, taking a knee out of respect. “May I present you with an alternative arrangement?”

That would make "My lords, my ladies, my princess" be its own sentence and have more weight on its own, and then, "May I present you with an alternate arrangement" would be its own sentence too.

This is exactly the sort of sentence stuff I always teach to explain that learning punctuation is not about mindlessly applying rules for no particular reason; knowing this stuff gives you some more tools for subtle shades of meaning.  Although since your story does not appear to be plagiarized, I give it an A+.



Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

I really need to learn how to format dialogue correctly. >.<

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Fixed this in the latest version!!
Your grammar articles have been so helpful with cleaning up the text, thank you so much :)

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

Okay, I finished the rest of the chapter and rather than going over it point by point, I think I'll just go over the main points.

1. The structure of the chapter is just confusing. The opening line is a decent one, but the fact that the chapter starts with the opening line and then goes back and describes the events leading up to the opening line... I'm sorry but it's just super confusing. I'd say either start the scene from the actual beginning of the conversation or try to think of a way to make it a bit clearer to the audience what is going on.

2. The opening chapter is just WAY too short. I mean, there's certainly no set in stone rule about how long a chapter should be, but this is less than a page. I understand what you're going for, with the POV changing between multiple characters, but if that's really the way you want to go, each character is going to need to contribute more than a page at a time before a POV switch.

3. I definitely see what other people mean when they compare your story to Game of Thrones. It's just got way too much in common. Right off the bat, you have the whole structure of each chapter being named after the character who's POV the reader is experiencing. This is VERY recognizable as the structure that George R. R. Martin uses for Game of Thrones. Honestly, I'd reconsider structuring your story that way. Having multiple protagonists is fine, but naming each chapter after a different protagonist is going to get a lot of people comparing your story to Game of Thrones. This, on top of the fact that the story begins with a Princess debating whether or not to use her dragons in an upcoming battle. (Sounds slightly familiar.) ... Yeah, I think you're going to have to look over some of the Game of Thrones similarities and cut some.

After that pretty harsh critique though, I'd say it definitely shows promise. You have a really nice and descriptive style of writing. Will read some more tomorrow. ^_^

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
All she has to do is actually finish it, and all similarities will end.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Ill address everything here, as I’ve already done a lot of the more grammatical/stylistic things you suggested in your previous comment. I’m also restructuring the opening chapter, which should be done in a few days or so (I have work over the next couple of days and will also be waiting for more responses from kind people like yourself from across the internet).

-I’m trying to keep the chapters short so they’re more like ‘scenes’ in a tv show or something (each one is no more than 1000 words, but there’s some ones a bit later that are a lot longer). I will almost definitely try to combine the first two Aithne chapters in some capacity so it’s a little longer.

-I’m going to try and change some of the more game of thrones-y elements. The dragons themselves are not actually ‘traditional’ fantasy dragons: when I’ve gone through and applied people’s grammar critiques to the next few chapters I think it’ll be more clear what I’m going for. Essentially the identity of the dragons, along with how they’re ‘made’ is important to the story so I’m probably going to keep them in at least. However: I’ll most likely change the chapter titles/think of another way to differentiate the POV’s. In addition to that I may change the opening chapter to be Darnun’s chapter, due to the fact it is more original when it comes to worldbuilding and has a similiar cliffhanger at the end. Really this is a formatting thing, and I don’t think I’ll be able to please anyone or myself fully with how it starts but I’ll certainly keep your opinions in mind!!
Thank you so much for your constructive criticism!

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

NP! Your ability to take constructive criticism well already establishes you as a desirable member of the community. ^_^

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
I’ve been trying my best, and I’m rating a story game a day to pay my rent for staying here.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago

I should really start rating storygame again... But I won't, because I'm lazy. ^_^

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
Going through the most recently made ones has been pretty wholesome so far

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
I don't see anything actually wrong with the chapter titles. Agreed the GoT influence is obvious but they have to be named something, and with this much jumping around it's genuinely the most useful way of being able to tell which section is which. At least during the draft phase I'd suggest she keep it as it is, the chapters are piling on and it's handy being able to look at the sidebar for a character's name if you need a reminder of something from a previous section.

Non-story game fantasy novel critique

3 months ago
As far as I was aware chapter titles being named after characters was pretty standard practice, but then again I’m only reading at a high schooler level at this point so maybe it’s a YA thing?