HAZAAH Honest Book Critiques 1 (Closed )

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#21

Thanks so much for all your fantastic feedback! I definitely wrote the summary a little hastily, I plan on going back and improving it this weekend. Everything you mentioned was really helpful. As far as characters go, Pierce and Mona don’t really play a role in the rest of the story, they’re exist more to throw readers into the world and the crime at the end becomes important later. And in regards to the time period, it’s set in the present day but made to be kind of dreamlike, and I’m drawing a lot of inspiration from San Francisco’s counterculture movements like the Beat Movement and 70s punk rock movements, which gives it that weird feel. Thanks again!


#22

(Hopefully I’ve done this to your satisfaction.)

Dear Crazy Ole Elf,

Title: A Maiden’s Kitty

Genre: Romance

Summary: A shut-in and a runaway… both felt segregated because of their differences to what’s considered normal. Perhaps their meeting is what fate had in store for them?
These two will remain at each other’s side forever… because love knows no boundaries.

Your writing experience; about you: Uh… I don’t have a whole bunch of experience. I’ve only been writing for around a year but within that time I did write a 150,000 word fantasy story that I’m still in the process of editing. Other than that I’ve got little to show. I’ve spent a lot of my time stewing on ideas and gathering inspirtation from the things I’ve watched and play.

Link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/164870339-a-maiden's-kitty


#23

I will be completing payment tomorrow! <3


#24

Dear Crazy Ole Elf,
Title: Whispers
Genre: Fantasy
Summary: Whisper has known she was a weapon since the day she was born. She was a blade, honed for battle. She knew that she and she alone was to end The Great War, a battle between light and darkness that had been waged for centuries. It had never been a question which side Whisper was on, she had been raised in the shadows, her mother being The Malignant LaTrama The Plotter herself, Head Goddess of Sempri, ruler of Humanity.

But when her father, LoSciopero, The Warrior, decides to claim her after sixteen years of silence, Whisper’s mother’s plans come crashing down, and Whisper is forced to live as both a Daughter of Darkness and a Daughter of Light.

Whisper knows that her father is planning something, and she knows that she needs to figure it out, and fast. She makes unexpected alliances with the enemy and is quickly enraptured by the beauty of her appointed High Priestess, Viva. Questions are rising to the surface of Whisper’s life, and she realizes she doesn’t even know what she’s fighting for.

All her life, Whisper was told that she didn’t have a choice, but now she does, and the lives of the people she has come to love hang in the balance.

Your writing experience; about you: My first ever original story dates back to kindergarten, which basically started my love for telling stories and constant need for validation! (which, now that I think about it, is maybe why I’m here?) I’ve published other things onto Wattpad since then, some of them from a cracked android and others from an actual computer. I am writing around three stories at the same time which I know is a recipe for disaster but, what can I say. I love to live on the edge. If you could, please be painfully honest. How else am I gonna grow, ya know?

Link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/167904483-whisper


#25

Please remember all my comments are meant to be constructive and are not a representation of you as a writer.

Review for The Convention (Ab)Use

Summary 8/10
I find this summary hits on some good points. I get the name of the character, the setting, and a hint at what is to come. Wes seems like he is in for one hell of a ride. Before stepping into your book, I ask myself many questions some that may be important to add to your summary to make it even more powerful. First, the why. Why is Wes returning to the country of his birth? Where did he come from and what is his reasons for leaving? The second, is the political. If Wes is about to become involved in something big politically is he himself involved politically for work or does he stumble upon something he shouldn’t. Would providing his line of work add to this summary? Could this be part of a conspiracy or a cover-up for a political scandal? I guess what I’m saying is it sounds like a mystery/ thriller and less like general fiction. But all that aside, I am intrigued and very interested. Your choice on if you wish to expand upon what I said and add a few more hints at what is going on (without revealing it of course).

First Line 5/10
I always believe in the importance of a first sentence to capture the attention of the reader and the feel of the story. I feel like this line is a bit of a flat line. I do like how it states a point of a halloween party. I get both the time of year and the event that is about to take place. What bothers me is it lacks the punch I need both grammatically and plotwise. I normally try to stay away from ‘as’ and ‘like’ as much as I can for it is the easiest way to create a comparison or analogy. In this case it acts as a preposition, and I advise all writers to never if possible start a sentence or end a sentence with a preposition. An example of a more powerful sentence might go, “Wes walked home thinking about the costume he was going to wear for the Halloween party.” or “Picking out a Halloween costume is one of the hardest decisions to make when your mind has little time for fun.”

Readability 7/10
The hardest part of any writer is to learn to show and not tell. By this I mean give me action instead of telling me the events. An example I noticed could easily be added to the first paragraph. Instead of telling me Wes is hungry. Have him clutch his grumbling stomach. Simple descriptions of actions can greatly impact even the dullest of scenes. In the second chapter I get bombarded by many of Wes’s friends. Some were well described like Rajeev but others were lacking. I think with time these characters will grow. I did like the subtle hints of Tess’s premonition coming close to true with the instances at the end of both chapters. I would like more excitement in the second chapter involving the party. It was very dialogue based which is not bad for character introduction, but I felt that it needed a little something more. Not sure at the moment, but if I think of something I will let you know.

Grammar 8/10
You need a few commas throughout, and you use lot of being verbs. These are only minor things I noticed. The major thing I noticed was the amount of redundancy. I pointed out a few places in the comments were there was sentences and instances that did not need the extra description.

Characters 7/10
Wes and Tess are well crafted and Rajeev stood out to me. I do feel that in the case of Tess though there are some parts that did not fit her character. You mention her to be a religious conservative. Her acceptance to halloween seems off character for her. I know a few people like that and they do not even like the mention of the holiday. Just maybe something to look into. My biggest concern is the large amount of characters in chapter 2. I got a little overwhelmed and confused at times and found myself back tracking to remember who was talking and who they were.

World Building/Setting 8/10
I’m not familiar with the setting so I don’t know if adding some local culture into the story might add more. I think hearing more about India would be a great addition. It did get the description of the Cholai later in the chapter when I feel it would be better suited for the beginning.

Total Score 43/60

An interesting start and an intriguing summary. It’s starting slow but I do get subtle hints of excitement and dread. Keep up the good work and feel free to ask me any question anytime.


#26

Please remember all my comments are meant to be constructive and are not a representation of you as a writer.

Review for The Last Philosopher

Summary 6/10
I always read the summary before jumping into the book, so know my questions are based on pure speculation. After reading your summary I found myself an equal bit confused and interested. The interested bits comes from the last paragraph and all your crazy fun creatures. The confusing bit is a lack of focus. I count at least three main characters and three plots (that I would hope join together in the end). While there is nothing wrong with having multiple events going on, I don’t believe one sentence for each in the summary is enough to capture my interest. I’m thrown around with no names, not much reason for them to be there, or goals that they hope to achieve. I do appreciate the humor. Fantasy and humor are a rare mix. My final thought is there is substance here, but due to a lack of focus my mind is tossed to character to character with little pause as to who they are and what is their reason to the plot.

First Line 8/10
Without subtext this quote is good. I get the sense we are dealing with multiple realities, possible dimensions, a mad philosopher, and some hint at dare I say extreme themes. The reason I cannot give this a perfect 10 is that it don’t yet understand what extreme is referring too. I can guess it is referring to the extreme vastness of the universe and where anything exists there must also be other things in between. I also hope it is establishing the theme for the book. Where I thought it was fantasy, I am getting more sci fi from this sentence. Remember, the importance of a first sentence can make or break it for some agents. It never hurts to have that perfect sentence. I do think your next sentence is more powerful than your first.

Readability 5/10
You are a major victim of telling and purple prose. I want to experience your world, but I keep getting bombarded by unnecessary paragraphs that highlight very little and do not push the plot forward. I say this in the nicest of ways, I have trouble continuing because you haven’t made me emotionally invested in the characters or the world. Is your writing bad, not at all. It is simply too much too quickly and not the right information I need to dance in your universe. I see it’s all there. My advice to you is dig through the frivolous wording and pull out the important parts.

Grammar 10/10
I did not find any problems with grammar.

Characters 6/10
Your best character so far that I read was Dick the black hole. He is fun and full of sarcasm and drama. I give you a 6 because you fill your chapters with so much extra words that such wonderful characters get lost in a black hole of prose as it were. Herschal was another character I felt could use more about him, his background, his reasoning to escape, his attempt at escaping, and less about how he sat in a duct for a whole chapter pondering the act of thinking. You have all the makings of a fun story. You have the characters, you have the unique setting, you have a whole universe to play with, but you are not letting me as the reader experience that.

World Building/Setting 6/10
I love space. I love giving life to the bizarre. You have that with your characters and your world which is wonderful. I would love to give this a perfect 10, but as I stated before, I am lost in space.

Total Score 41/60

I am a big fan of flowery writing but only if it has purpose to the story. You need to work at editing down and bringing to the surface the parts of your story that make it amazing. I know you said this is your first attempt at something big, so I hope I helped in my comments make it clear that writing takes a lot of practice and a lot of work to make it perfect, and as a writer we don’t always see what is wrong with our writing until someone points it out to us. You have the it thing somewhere in this book. Find it and I know you will succeed.


#27

Please remember all my comments are meant to be constructive and are not a representation of you as a writer.

Review for The Voice

Summary 6/10
This is a difficult summary for me to review because I have more questions than anything and not in a good way. I feel like I’m lacking some necessary information regarding plot. First off, is the voice a person or something disembodied? Why eighteen people? Why a grey house? Why is it scary to be wiped out of the grey house? Are they being killed? Is the prize for surviving to meet the voice, end the voice? Do these people know each other or have history? Why should I invest my time reading about random eighteen people stuck in a house with a voice? To make this summary more compelling I need more goals, more reasons, more mystery, more details of these people. Is this a worldwide phenomenon and only these 18 people can fix it? I’m left wondering is this like a saw movie, a cabin in the woods, or a friends get together drama.

First Line 7/10
I’m going to ignore the bold part as it isn’t even a sentence and move on to the first sentence. I like how you do mention the voice immediately and you set the atmosphere to be creepy and cold. What bothers me is it doesn’t excite me as much as I hope. Perhaps if the voice is capitalized (due to its importance), and I hear more about its sound then I might be more enthralled like I see in the second sentence. Give me description of the voice starting out and save the description of the room for the next paragraph. I believe the voice is the focus of your novel so it should receive center stage in the first sentence and even the first paragraph. With that said I receive multiple descriptions of the room, the walls, both of which are described as cold and chilly.

Readability 6/10
You start out with a lot of telling. This is the perfect book to start with showing. A gasping of breath. A shrill of fear coming from the people present. A dialogue between them, shocked and confused. Instead I get a lot of you telling me what is going on so I’m forced to follow your words and not given the freedom to imagine and explore people’s emotions. I recommend watching the Japanese film Re:Mind as it is very similar to what you have presented here.

Grammar 8/10
Not many grammar mistakes that I could find. My beef is mostly with the redundancy I found. I get reminded multiple times about the room being cold, it being silent, etc. Nothing is wrong with keeping these in the book, but it can be annoying to the reader.Give the reader benefit of the doubt to envision what you envision without actually telling them over and over what is going on.

Characters 6/10
Like I feared. A large cast can lead to much confusion very quickly. I get introduced suddenly to Kane and Keaton wondering what they look like, if they are the boys with hoodies. This girl with the blue hair goes very long without a name. I know I can refer to your character list but doing so disrupts the flow of the story if I have to continue to do so. I advise a slower introduction to the characters. Give each a very unique quirk like the blue hair to distinguish easily between them. Also I feel the characters are not very smart. The voice has to keep pushing them to perform. They want to be lazy, sing, watch tv, and look at an empty fridge. No one seems truly frightened or upset to be trapped in this weird house.

World Building/Setting 7/10
The setting is very small, a house, which is awesome for horror and thriller. Though I am lacking much of the description early on and am forced to read a few scenes until I get a better foundation of the place they are in. You excel at capturing the creepy factor, but need work at capturing the essence of what this place is. It look to the middle of chapter 2 before I figured out enough information to fill in the gaps of the setting.

Total Score 40/60

Final thoughts. I feel there is a great story here under all the layers. I worry about all the characters and the delay in setting details. Your power lies with the dialogue. This is the Voice after all. Give voices the focus, give dialogue the focus. It will grant you more power, more show, and more creep to what you have presented here.


#28

I hope everyone is doing ok. I also hope my critiques aren’t coming out too harsh. It’s my first time doing this sort of thing. I want to help any way I can.


#29

Thank you for the pointers. Yeah, this is the rewrite of an old story by 2015 - and, yeah, chapters back then were much worse. I really hope to make things even better when I’m done writing.


#30

Thanks, I saw you left more than a few comments, I’m going to have a look at them in a while. Oh, and also thanks for voting :slight_smile:


#31

OMG, can I employ you as my personal assistant reviewer? Where you been all my life, hehehe. Thanks for this. Constructive indeed.

One point though, Tess like you stated is not in support of Wes going to the Halloween party. Thing is, she doesn’t know that’s what he’s going for. Wes told her a ‘meeting’.

I shall tweak my boring first line. I would miss its blandness after that though, hehe.


#32

Always glad to help :grinning:


#33

No problem


#34

I still have 8 slots available


#35

@lostinmywriting this the thread I mentioned to you about.


#36

Hmmm, well, I’m already following you and I’m already reading Mirror Me and am already commenting, but I will happily make more in depth comments, I just wasn’t sure you wanted them, but now I know:-)
I think what you are doing here is a great idea:-) I’m not sure my book fits the requirement but you have inspired me to go and practice writing a summary!


#37

Trust me, I plan to get to your books soon. They are on my private library, and I will see what I can do to offer to you. I greatly appreciate all you have done and are doing.


#38

I’m really enjoying the story so its no problem what-so-ever:-)


#39

Dear Crazy Ole Elf,

Title: Airborn

Genre: Fantasy, adventure, Romance

Summary: Deep within the Earths forgotten past, in a dimension different from ours, lies a story of the Airborn. Airborn are the winged people that ruled the skies. They once lived in harmony with the humans but were sent into hiding far over the sea of sand where no one dared to travel. Centuries later generations have passed for both the humans and the Airborn. Both of them considers the other a myth. Beings that never existed. What happens when a prophecy causes their two worlds to meet again?

Your writing experience; about you: Ever since I was a kid I’ve been writing stories. I grew homeless and and couch surfing so whenever I got a pen and paper I’d write stories that were better then my life. It was my escape. I’d always write stories based off dreams I’ve had. Writing has kept me going for years, and I want to write stories that will be an escape for others.
Ps: I’m an adult now and fine so no worries.

Link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/146037178-airborn

Thanks for the opportunity Elf!


#40

[quote=“Jules_Haigler, post:1, topic:36698”]
Dear Crazy Ole Elf,
Title: Yung Yakuza Trilogy: Broken
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Mystery/Crime
Summary:Luna was told that she was the world’s number one singer. She was told she had a voice of an Angel blessed by God. She was told to speak 15 different languages and learn them fluently.

Be the good girl. The perfect girl. The girl of the male gaze.

She was told to go to a place she was never even told of before.

She wasn’t told that she would discover untold secrets or that her punishment would change her forever.

For better or for worse.

Your writing experience; about you: I’ve always loved writing and creating my own world, it even came to a point of where i published my own fanfictions and ignored my lessons in favor of writing. As some one who has recently started actively using wattpad i want to see if what im doing is good enough to potentially gain loyal followers as my dream is to become a massive publisher so that i can create the fantasy world and non-fantasy world that my heart desires. im a sixth form student too who also majors/ A level in english.

Link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/155476096-yung-yakuza-trilogy-broken