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KennethEng

Seeking Criticism

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This is not a search for a job, but I am seeking honest criticism for my new book:

https://www.amazon.com/Spell-Knights-Kenneth-C-Eng-ebook/dp/B06XPKCRXY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1489902286&sr=8-1

 

The reason for this is that I am trying to develop this into a game (as can be seen by the scenarios in the book), but I cannot figure out why no one is interested. I have received some criticisms, but I am trying to get multiple opinions in order to assess my audience. 

As a postscript, I am not interested in discussing my political views, as most folks here seem to point that out as the first thing Kenneth Eng is known for. This topic is meant for a discussion on the above book. 

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I also didn't like the cover image, but I would have ignored that as far as a book goes.  (I do regularly read furry fiction, just to establish that.)

The reason I wasn't interested in looking at it even as a free book is the way the summary makes it seem to be aimed at quite a young audience, and I find that a lot of YA material is just terrible.  What the summary said about the content of the book didn't encourage me, as neither the setting nor the main character sound appealing.  I have to wonder why you wrote this particular story.  Even if you specifically wanted to write a story about anthros, and a non-sexual one at that, and even if you specifically wanted it to be YA too, there are many more interesting stories there that you could have written.  If you want to describe your writing goals and motives, I might be able to make a more constructive suggestion.

Edited by sunandshadow

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The fox head on the body on the cover is not natural looking at all. Maybe you're in the uncanny valley, because it's way creepier than it should probably be. I'm not sure why.

The text of the book, I only managed to read a couple paragraphs. When I hit the anthropomorphic crab, I quit. You just don't use anthropomorphic to directly bestow that attribute. Ever. It's a technical description, not a picture painted with words. If frob is right that you used "ibex goat" that also would have instantly killed the book for me. It would be like reading poodle dog or pit bull dog. Noun noun is usually improper structure. Use an adjective or two instead. Unless you know exactly why you are using a noun to describe another noun in grammatically incorrect fashion, don't do it.

Let me cover the opening paragraph since it didn't instantly repel me, but has issues. Heavy use of it at the start is a turnoff. If you want me to care, "it" is not how you accomplish that. Humanize if you want me to empathize. Vilify if you want. Enrapture me with beautiful descriptions of the scenery if you so choose. But pick what you want to accomplish, then write accordingly. I want to be drawn in. Like let's say Village 208 is where a great evil guy came from a hundred years ago. Then you pull someone in by saying "Nephro pushed some leaves aside to reveal an unkempt sign. Village 208. The mere sight of those words made Nephro's shell rattle uncontrollably. Even knowing The Evil One was dead before Nephro existed. Even before his great-great grandparents." Now I know Village 208 is scary, Nephro isn't quite human, but can push aside leaves, read a sign, and feel fear the same as I would. Whoa, he's anthropomorphic without saying it! And my writing probably sucks, but hopefully you get the point. Ask me to write some code, and it will be much prettier!

Let's take a look at the opening paragraph a different way. What emotion did you try to evoke from the reader? If you don't have a clear answer, the reader usually fills it in with "boredom" for you. And honestly, it feels like that was actually your aim! I mean, you literally said "Not much happened here."

I don't want to discourage you too much though. Your story might be awesome. These are all pretty minor things that are kind of easy to fix compared to dealing with a horrible story. If you haven't taken a writing class, take one online or something. I bet you'll surprise yourself with how much improvement you will see if you just learn the basic concepts in storytelling. If I had to make a single suggestion to you, I'd say don't try to fill in all the details. Just focus on whichever details serve your purpose at the moment. Think about how many characters in books aren't really well-defined. How tall was Jesus in the Bible? What race was he? Did he have a crooked nose? We don't know, because the story didn't warrant those details.

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Thank you folks. Since most of the comments here state that the story is fine, what would it take to turn this into a game? I know absolutely nothing about games, never having played them for decades. However, I am trying to market this to industry pros by creating a test market. 

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Kenneth, this is the Writing forum. If you want information about how to
get a story turned into a game, you need to post that request in another
forum.
- If you want to ask about how to license your story to a game publisher,
ask that in the Business and Law forum.
- If you want to ask about how to contact developers and manage them in
developing your game, ask that in the Production and Management forum.
Good luck!

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Studying screenwriting or writing for comics/graphic novels is a good place to start learning how to write a game script.  Story by Robert McKee is a book you could read - here's the amazon link, or you may be able to find it in a library:

https://www.amazon.com/Story-Substance-Structure-Principles-Screenwriting/dp/0060391685/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491076166&sr=8-1&keywords=story

As far as your concept, I actually think that's the weakest point.  We can teach you to improve your writing skills, but teaching someone what makes good content is a lot more challenging.  I still would like you to describe your goals and motives in writing this story.  And I'm quite confused where you are seeing comments saying the story is fine.  I'm pretty sure we all said we didn't want to read the whole thing and thus were unable to evaluate the story.

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Since most of the comments here state that the story is fine

Literally no one said that, you might want to re-read the feedback you've been given if that was your takeaway.  Like the others, I would suggest some basic education of writing technique.

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