HAZAAH Honest Book Critiques 1 (Closed )

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#61

No problem! Take your time!


#62

My story is actually purposefully focusing on a lot of characters. In fact, chapter 3 stars from Officer Scott’s POV lol. Rayne is arguably the main character, but everyone’s story is very important, which I understand is a strange format for Wattpad. If you’ve ever read The Bad Place by Dean Koontz – it is the perfect example of the level of storytelling I aspire to achieve within this piece. (In “The Bad Place”, the author has Frank Pollard’s story (arguably the MC), but you also have Bobby & Julie Dakota, Julie’s brother, Candy (the bad guy), Candy’s two sisters, then there’s even a coworker of the Dakotas, and eventually that coworker’s wife.) Wonderful read. Highly recommend.

Anyways, Nicole does play a significant role in the story. She’s intended to be appear as a “random kill” in the intro – much like you would see on Criminal Minds or Supernatural. However, she is actually a character we see throughout the piece. There is a character Rayne meets who is actually her spirit (that is a surprise, intended to be revealed later), a darker vision of Nicole’s spirit is also haunting one of the other student’s, and discovering the details of her death will play a crucial role in Rayne understanding what is haunting the campus and why.

I do appreciate the time you took to review this, however, I also wonder if in the midst of your other reviews if perhaps you read chapter 1 a bit too quickly? I say this because the wolf seemed to confuse you, yet you’re the only person it confused. Also, Officer Scott is a woman (her name is Emma Scott). I have a line that explicitly says, “Officer Scott was a woman in her mid-forties” and I refer to her as a “she” throuhgout the chapter, so for you to think she was a man, kind of makes me wonder if perhaps you skimmed it just a bit lol. If that’s not the case though, I believe I could insert a paragraph that describes the policewoman’s looks. That’s something I never did. Haha but I don’t know what else I could do to make that more apparent since I said “she was woman in her mid-forties” hahaha.

I really do appreciate your notes about similes and making other things more apparent to the reader (like the amnesia, etc.). I will definitely work harder to make that more apparent. I’m not sure how to make the wolf part more obvious though. But I will definitely re-read and see how I can make things more apparent. Removing those adverbs and editing down those similes will probably take more time haha.


#63

I replied in a comment where I found it to be confusing. Again sorry for mistaking the officer. When I critique I focus on some details and may miss others. I did give you my honest critique. Not everyone is perfect and I did say my opinion does not reflect upon you as a writer. While some parts may work for television shows, remember this is a book. I advise most writers in my workshops never to write their book like it is a movie. This can create confusion as to plot such as in the instance with Nicole. In movies this type of suspense is fine because in about 30 minutes it will make sense to the story presented. In a book this reveal may take many chapters over a period of days dependent on how fast the reader is at reading. My point was from a book perspective, I have dedicated so much time and effort into learning and caring about a character who suddenly dies to suddenly switch to someone else and may go a long time before I get the reference as to their importance. It would make more sense to get a hint in the first chapter to their connection to the main character instead of a lingering thread. Yes, this creates mystery and excitement, but I’m lost as a reader. A long prologue and build up and now I have to wait chapters to find the reason to why they were there. I hope this clarifies my point.

I did love reading your chapters. I hope you understand that. Just trying to help where I can.


#64

Also—can you possibly review the docs version? (Still in docs but labeled chapter 2 rewrite)


#65

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

Review for 12:01

Note: I’m basing my review on Chapter 1 and the one labeled Chapter 2 rewrite.

Summary 7/10
It’s short and straight to the point and hits on the key points such as conflict and goal, name of the main character, the events leading up to the main event, and a theme. It is a great pitch, but not completely what I would consider a book summary. What I would like to see more of is a sense of mystery and perhaps a subplot, such as maybe a romantic interest or a reason to why Addison wants to escape this fear. Is it debilitating to her life? Has it caused her to do bad in school? Is the event that triggers the story supposed to be mysterious? Was she pregnant? Or did someone else die in the accident? It’s an intriguing start though I almost feel this being a psychological thriller maybe under the teen fiction genre.

First Line 5/10
Based on the first chapter (I know you said it feels more like an exposition and it does) I have to say the first line is pretty basic. I don’t get much excitement or uniqueness from it. Now the first line for chapter 2 rewrite is better but still not perfect. In chapter 1 I do feel it may be difficult in its current state to find an exciting line. I found the chapter as a whole to be informative on major details but lacking on the smaller ones. I got the key points, character Addison has had a tragic event happen in her past at 12:01 and seems to have a small crush on the next door neighbor while harboring many issues of self confidence and ptsd. I might have missed it but I didn’t get her age, nationality, or whether or not she is living alone or with family. I will hit on some more points in the readability section of this review.

Readability 8/10
First let me say your rewrite of chapter 2 was much better than the first. I got more of Addison which I liked. I also got a few of my questions answered regarding if she lived with family. The interaction between her and her mother was also realistic. I like how they share the same pain but are handling it differently. Still don’t know exactly what happened. Chapter 1 did read very slow and not very exciting from an introductory standpoint. I was missing the desirable hook. Your second chapter is much stronger and I feel it can almost be chapter one and your current chapter one can take place later in the story. I do like the fact that Addison was constantly counting the time from the event down to the minute. It shows a part of her character’s inability to escape from her trauma while being self aware she has problems. She does fiddle with her watch a great deal. This can be a nervous trait for her character, but I did notice in most cases (not all) it happen more as an external transition between thought and bouts of silence than as her internal struggle with time.

Grammar 10/10
I didn’t find any major issues with grammar. Only some minor changes to sentence structure and possibly some unnecessary and repeated sentences many of which will be fixed in a good edit. Example: in chapter 2 Addison and her mother are described to not be very open with each other at the end of one paragraph and then again at the beginning of the following paragraph. Just a repeat in thought there. “The post-drawn panic was on her face too and Addison knew that it didn’t help that she wasn’t as open as they used to be. They both weren’t as open now. In fact, the paper hidden under her pillow proved that.” A note here too, be mindful of contractions. They are acceptable in dialogue, but from my experience some editors and agents see contractions outside of dialogue to be unnecessary. Otherwise, it followed the rules of English very well.

Characters 9/10
We are introduced to Dr. Martinez first. Not sure whether she is a recurring character or just a plot device to introduce Addison, the main character I am assuming. My reason for this logic is because we get a description of Addison long before we even know what Dr. Martinez even looks like. I do like Dr. Martinez. She is professional and has Addison’s best interest in mind. I would like to see if she is important to the story as to what type of specialty she specializes in, such as addictive disorder or behavioral psychologist, etc.
Addison is the next big name dropped in these opening chapters. So as to not repeat myself, I did also like Addison’s interactions with the neighbor boy. He seems like a good subplot and a goal that Addison can shoot for in recovering from her trauma. Though he was not formally introduced to the reader, I assumed his name was Daniel. Same goes for Addison’s mother, Nora. Also Daniel seems like a good guy. Addison needs to snatch him up before someone else does. Girl, get that confidence!

World Building/ Setting 8/10
Not much has been established as of yet. Not sure where this takes place or even if it is in America. I rated this they way I did because I do like the descriptions of the therapy office and Addison’s house/room. I saw everything very well, just need those extra details and a step deeper into Addison’s world.

Total Score 47/60

Final thoughts: Chapter 2 is much stronger than the first and is more exciting to read. Chapter one is informative though but could use some added details. Great complex characters and good real world themes. I see some hints at a romantic subplot which is nice. Grammar is spot on besides a few minor edits. I see a lot of promise and some tension building for character growth and life lessons on death and healing. Good luck!


#66

Next to be reviewed by @Never_Fail_Yourself

I am starting my new job on monday, so please continue being patient. I try to give everyone a constructive and comprehensive review.


#67

Thank you so so much! Addison is actually American, and the setting is actually in CA. I agree first chapter wise, it’s much more of an info dump than a whole “hey let’s develop this character”. For the first two chapters, I didn’t necessarily show the state, but I think in chapter two it could be included, which I can add in chapter 3 when they have “the walk”. I think chapter one wise, the first sentence or the whole chapter can be moved. Again, thanks so much for the review! Also, the age is mentioned in the first chapter haha (: I’ll have to fix these and keep this in mind. Thanks so much <333


#68

So I finished my first week at my new job. I am now free for a while and intend to catch up on my critiques. Be ready!


#69

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

Review for Holding on to you

Summary 6/10
First off, you do hit on the points that a summary needs. These are the characters, the event that sets the story in motion, a conflict, and a goal. The reason why I can’t give it a higher score is because what is has in material it lacks in substance and focus. I can piece together the basic idea of the Supremes, but I am left with many questions. Why would a Supreme of anything protect an inferior, that is if the inferior has something of value to the supreme. I do get lost at the last sentence of the first paragraph. Why are they torn apart? Why does Erin need medicine? Was this because of the ring? Why is being surrounded by supremes suddenly a bad thing? I thought they were protectors. All these questions and more give me very little to go on. I do like to be kept guessing, but only if I am intrigued and not lost. It’s a start, but it does a lot of work.

First Line 6/10
I don’t dislike the first line. The problem I have is because I don’t receive an explanation to what Inferiors are (until a few paragraphs later; by now I have lost interest), and I am made aware by the characters thoughts that the concept of Inferiors is unimportant for them to know. This makes me the reader feel it is unimportant information. I would like the characters to question their way of life and give me an early hint to what it means. Otherwise accepting it as it is gives them no goal, no reason to push forward. To summarize my thoughts… I am left confused and left lacking a goal driven narrative that would push me into reading more.

Readability 7/10
For English not being your first language, you write better than most English speakers. That said, I found it easy to read. What I was lacking fell under detail and description. I was given some hints but not enough to ground me in the story. The setting got me confused, and the festival events including the last walk did not offer me the explaination I needed. Did the people just disappear? Also what was the significance of the petals and the food (no flavor unless at the festival)? I’m scratching my head. I was hoping for an explanation in chapter two. No. Just more lost. I also get introduced to the ring (as mentioned in the summary), an important plot point I’m guessing. From what I read, the ring seems suddenly added with no build up. Then I start questioning the society of the Inferiors and the Supremes’ role. Do they provide any authority? Why are they protecting these frail people? Why did we jump from a festival about dying to suddenly pawning off a ring? I’m getting information, information, information, but it has no substance. Give me a focus, give me explanation, even just a little.

Grammar 10/10
Your grammar is on point. Nearly perfect besides a few strange wording choices and a lot of being verbs. Clearly your strongest part of your story is your grammar.

Characters 8/10
I get many, many characters in the first few chapters so many that in a few places I got confused who was speaking and where did that new person come from. I did some back tracking to fully understand the text and dialogue. The characters I chose to focus on I liked. Silas is the most developed character while Erin falls short on the personality. I wanted more of Emily and her transition to the Everafter. She just vanished. That scene would be very powerful and give Silas even more character development since he fancied her so.

World Building/Setting 6/10
You have a unique concept, but I found my imagination jumping around a scene with little foundation. In chapter two I get more of the world where the Supremes surround the Inferiors’ land. Stuff like that and more description on what happens at the festival could greatly improve the quality of your story.

Total Score 43/60

Final Thoughts: Good interesting start though the story needs to focus on what is important and on creating a world with a sturdier foundation. The characters are for the most part well done, and the grammar is near excellent. I recommend shifting your focus from the festival to the ring making the festival part of a subplot. Either that or reword your summary to make the festival the main focus and the ring an afterthought. You wondered what genre it fell under. I give it a YA fantasy/sci fi. Possibly a hint of dystopian too.


#70

@TheMCOfficial you are next in line to be reviewed!


#71

Ah, Interesting. I forgot about that. XD


#72

Yes, I am still here. I always keep my word. Critiques a commin’


#73

Haha. That’s good then. XD


#74

Sorry for the late response! I’m in the middle of exam so I haven’t been on the forum the past couple of days! I want to thank you for your time and amazing feedback. Many of your questions you had were meant to be mysteries that would later on be answered, but I agree that it wasn’t my intention to confuse the reader. My goal was to make them wonder but knowing that they’ll find out sooner or later.
I’ll make some changes to the story so it makes more sense.
Again thank you so much and I hope you liked reading it!


#75

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

Review for A Maiden’s Kitty

Summary 4/10
I know you don’t have much writing experience so I hope to help you where I can. Let me first start out by saying your summary is very basic. It does not offer me any exciting pull or conflict, and if you pull out the extraneous information you are left with two very short sentences. The part “both felt segregated… to what’s considered normal” is very redundant because you have already told me these people are shut-ins and runaways. Most if not all shut-ins and runaways feel apart from society hence why they do what they do. The next sentence is a question. Not a bad thing to entice a reader, but in this instance it feels stuck in and unnecessary. A fateful meeting is very cliche. The final sentence falls under the cliche archetype as well. I think it can be improved with more detail. Who are the main characters? What is their struggle and why is it causing them to be outcasts? Is there a unique event that stirs them to meet? What makes this book different than any other romance story out there? If you answer all these question in your summary it will greatly expand your reading audience.

First Line 8/10
I enjoyed your first line. It does instantly give me a mood of defeat and an idea on what the character’s life is like. What I believe could improve it is maybe a change of words. By saying no light you are implying it is pitch black darkness and no one not even the character can see around them. Even the change from light to sunlight would make it all the much better to visualize.

Readability 5/10
You might notice a comment storm appearing on your feed. I want to first point out my confusion. I know it is stated in the title, A Maiden’s Kitty, but it took me longer than expected to realize that perhaps Aria is a cat and not a person or both. I guess I’m still trying to figure that out. Otherwise the story had it’s moments of cuteness and other times got me scratching my head wondering what just happened. I wanted to know why Aria chose to go to Emily’s house? Did she do it to get candy to eat? Why was there a sudden shift in perspective in the prologue with no transition? I advise to go back and look at your work and ask yourself these questions. I did see some problems with description such as the order of actions (jumping before waking up; waking up multiple times in on paragraph; etc.).

Grammar 8/10
You had some typos here and there. There was also the sudden exclamations within paragraphs and then the lack of exclamations in dialogue where it would work best. For the most part grammar was good, but context needs some work.

Characters 7/10
Characters are mostly well flushed out but it took a long time to finally get to that point. I did point out my confusion about Aria within the comments and Emily’s sudden introduction. I was taken off by Emily being a shut-in to suddenly being so friendly to Aria going so far as hugging a stranger. Seemed off character to me.

World Building/Setting 7/10
I was confused by the time of day a few times and the jump between scenes. I did like the alley scene but by the time we got to Emily’s house, the setting felt off. I got more description about her closet and her leg cramps than her house.

Total Score 39/60

Final thoughts: I thought it was really cute despite the confusion. I do see you have a lot of editing to do to make it perfect. Keep at it, keep writing. You have the basics down. I’m interested in that fantasy book you mentioned. So keep me informed.


#76

@YoItsYeau our review is next!


#77

Title: The Legend of the Moonflower Princess
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Summary:Sahara is a young woman living in the kingdom of Dasos, a ward to the royal family and foster sister to the young prince Nashoba. Found in the woods with her grandmother years ago, she is shunned by others for her poor origin, scarlet red hair, and a scar that most believe to be a consequence of witchcraft. While she longs to forgo the loneliness that never seems to leave her heart, she is resigned to live out the rest of her life in unhappiness and solitude. However, when Nashoba is abruptly kidnapped by shadow-like creatures and a mysterious branded woman, she throws aside her fears in a momentousness decision to follow her brother’s abductors. Suddenly thrust into an enchanting and spectacular world, Sahara must overcome her own insecurities and trust in herself and others to save her brother from a horrendous fate.
Your writing experience; about you: I love to write :joy:
Link: https://www.wattpad.com/659085416-the-legend-of-the-moonflower-princess-where-the


#78

I’ll put your story on the list if @CatharsisKingdom and @laynejodi do not finish the required steps by January 15th. Otherwise when this critiquing is done I will be starting a new one on a separate thread by the same name part two.


#79

Sorry about that! I followed!


#80

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

Review for Whispers

Summary 6/10
First let me say you check all the boxes of themes that should be included in a summary. I get names, conflicts, a reason to read. My main concern and the reason why I could not give it a higher rating is the amount of content you present. I got too much information leaving me with very little unknown to look forward to when I do read the book. My advice here would be to edit down. This may work for a query letter to a literary agent, but even then they might see it as too much information. The authors I have worked with over the years describe the summary as one you would see on the back of a book, a paragraph, perhaps two, that is short, to the point, and leaves a mystery/excitement for the reader to discover. I made this mistake many times through my years of writing. It took much rejection before I realized less is more.

First Line 7/10
It’s a very basic first line, something I have seen done many times. But I do like it except I am also confused by it. Typically I advise people to avoid using undefined terms at the very beginning as it may deter some readers. Should you change it, well that’s up to you. I works sometimes. Just know me as the reader now do now know what a Malign is or the people of Veru, or the Reaping, or the Princess of Sempri. Like I said this could work as an opening if you define these terms within a very reasonable time. I’ve seen books on here use this technique to introduce their books and wait many chapters before addressing what it is.

Readability 7/10
You’ve got a great grasp on descriptive language. Some characters were very well done. My major critique here is the pacing and again a lot of information at once. Things move very fast even in the first chapter. I jumped between scene to scene with little time to soak in the many characters introduced and the setting that they were in. There was also the bane of all things writing, too much telling. In places I was hoping to have more clarity of information I was given more information. You also write this book in first person, but with the way it is presented it feels almost third person. I don’t get enough of the character’s voice I was looking for.

Grammar 9/10
There are some rough parts, but from a grammar perspective it is fairly well done.

Characters 6/10
So many characters. I think I counted 7 or eight by the beginning of Chapter 2. Again nothing wrong with this if each character is given a decent amount of time to develop in the reader’s mind. With the pacing being so fast I was thrown into this band of characters long before I even got to know the main character.

World Building/Setting 6/10
Your world is full of culture, tradition, and strict rules. I like that a lot. It shows you took much time to develop it. My concern is that I don’t get enough description of what these events, places, or types of people are. I had trouble finding a foundation while reading, not so much due to the scene jumps, but for a lack there of. Are the characters in a room, a deserted alleyway, a bustling market square, a throne room? Where are they?

Total Score 41/60

Final Thoughts: There is much potential here. I feel some of it is hiding underneath a weight of information, and the important information is still in the mind of the author waiting to touch the page. Keep in mind, the world you created may make sense to you. You created it. But if it doesn’t translate to the page, the reader cannot visualize it. I see some strong characters here, lots of culture mixed with fantasy and a touch of dystopian, and a good sense that this is not your first attempt at writing. I wish you the best. I hope my critique helps.