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Beta-ing - Readers and Authors
Beta-ing - Readers and Authors
Last Gods: Help and Questions
Traveler 4 months ago
Back in High School I had a friend who would read my stories and answer some questions which would help me a lot in writing better and idea generation. I would appreciate it if you reading this can answer these questions about my story called Last Gods.

1- Favorite Chapter? Why?
2- Wost Chapter? Why?
3- Best and worst character? Why?
4- Predications for the future chapters?
5- Anything confusing?
6- Any questions or concerns?

Thank you if you responded.
Blondemaverick4 months ago
'Ello Traveler!
Just finished up "The Last Gods" and I liked it. Here's my critique:

If you classify it as a screenplay instead of a story, I believe your story will garner a much larger audience than it has already. Most folks looking for a cohesive story are not going to abide such a departure in normative style that's found in your story's formatting. However, those who like and prefer to read their stories as screenplays will feel right at home in your dialog and short, italicized descriptions. In fact, you may find better feedback amongst that crowd.

As for the content, you have incredible technical prowess. I found only a handful of typos for every chapter. There were some inconsistencies found in the text as far as when you felt it appropriate to use either [:] or [-] before characters spoke, but that can be easily overlooked if a reader is just in it for the story.

The story itself is interesting and the world is fleshed out despite there being very little description or transition between the dialog moments (I feel this is indicative of you letting the reader fill in the blanks--and that's a pretty mature skill to have as a writer and I applaud you for it), but sometimes I felt like some of the characters sort of blended together. Kate and Arrea could be consolidated into one really strong character in my opinion, but this is minor and didn't really distract me--it's just something I noticed about their dialog/reactions.

The creatures/monsters/adversaries to hand didn't really feel uniquely divine to me. Not to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but some of them were token supernaturals and I feel like you could have either (1) renamed them to suit your world's lore or (2) given them strange/unique abilities to help separate them from the expected.

All in all though, I enjoyed what I read of your work and I'm looking forward to what else you have in store for Hashi and the gang! Changing the genre to screenplay will get you that larger audience you deserve, and reevaluating the need for such a large cast of characters may help streamline things in the long game (but those are just suggestions--I'm not your boss :D )

Best of luck and keep up the stellar work!!!
Traveler 4 months ago
@Blondemaverick, Thank you for the amazing feedback! I will take your advice and change it to a screenplay. I'm writing this as a game script so I hope changing it to screenplay will convey that.

Two questions, can you elaborate on what you said about Kate and Arrea, how can I improve them?
In your last paragraph, about the cast numbers, do you mean I should decrease the amount of characters? I have been thinking of doing that so your input could help me decide.
Blondemaverick4 months ago
Ahoy there! Here be me piratey advice. TL;DR: Aaarg, ye should mark all these 'ere words.

(This could be applied to any story, really. Although, it is oversimplified for brevity>)  Simply put, if you had a situation where two or more of your characters could theoretically jump in and solve the problem, you may be experiencing character bloat. If your characters never disagree or offer new ways of handling a situation, you may be experiencing character bloat. This is not a one size-fits all sort of diagnosis, escpecially if you want to do this sort of thing on purpose (a lot of distopian/sci-fi have the bad guys virtually interchangeable, ala Stormtroopers in Star Wars), but if you're going for a cast of dynamic, thinking-for-themselves people, you'll want to avoid the taste of sameness.

As for Arrea and Kate, there are three ways you can atune their dialog and behavior to avoid any future wishywhashy, because you are pretty far in the story as it is and it would be a shame to go back and rewrite a lot of scenes:

1. (The Easy Route) Have one of them sacrifice one for the other in a pitched fight. You could even foreshadow it, adding spice to the blow. Keep in mind, this is pretty trite. Your choice over who lives and who dies should not come easily, but killing one as a plot device is in your writer's arsenal nevertheless.
2. (The Middle Ground) You could choose one and give her an accent. This will seperate her dialog from the other's, and you can pepper in some local slang/curses to help readers of that demographic identify with her. It also adds to her character. Where did she pick up the accent? Did she grow up there or did she watch too much Doctor Who growing up? This could also help you reach readers who like language play and language representation.
3. (The Difficult Road) This is one path I am loathe to recomend because it is no easy task: Rewriting. This is three fold. On one hand, you could simply write out one of them and consolidate them into one character. The easiest to write out would be Arrea, because Kate has history with other characters--and it would be a crying-shame to miss that powerful "You ruined my life!" moment. On the other hand, you could simply replace one of them with another character--perhaps giving even more purpose to Dulla-my-dude, or giving life to a new cannon-fodder-like character that readers aren't required to fall in love with. On the uh, third(?) hand, you could have them bonded together in the story.  For example, you could have a curse or a spell go wrong and the two mythics are fused together! This is a long shot of course and can't just be inserted in, but it does offer the potential of being a nice plot hook and point as well. The only downside I see with a perma fussion is that it will take away from Hashi's, ahem, current two-for-one situation in the long run. However, if you spin it like a foible/mirror, you could get some nice literary contrast (eg. Hashi having growing pains with his other half, but Arrea/Kate flourishing together after they get over the fact that they share one body.)

As for my recommendation, I recommend you do what you think is best for your story! I don't know what you have planned for it, and you may decide something totally different that really surprises me and your readers. These are just my suggestions. Every story and every writer is different, so do what you're comfortable with :)

Most of all, have fun with it!! Chances are, if you don't enjoy a part of your story, neither will your readers.

Hope this helps a little... even if it is a bit of a book! (Palm/Face)

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