It has been quite the wait but, in the end, my chapter entered Scribophile’s main spotlight. The piece is visible for everyone in the writing section until the chapter receives three critiques. After that, it disappears from the main page and that’s my cue to start processing the feedback I’ve gotten.
The first critique I got was enormous! It was almost a thousand words fully about the writing in its most technical aspect. Let’s break it down.
In my novel description, I said that I want to help others understand what people like me are going through and how it affects their lives. It gives me a premise to work towards and keep working towards.
It was the first chapter of my book, so a few things are needed to make it a successful first chapter. The critiquer said there were a few objectives to follow in a certain order:
- Hook your reader into the story;
- Show the reader the normal world of the protagonist;
- Have the reader create empathy for the protagonist;
- Give the protagonist a desire and show it to the reader;
- Have an inciting incident, something that sets the story in motion;
According to the critiquer, I had done all these things but I needed to polish the presentation of the information. He advised me to take a look into Alfred Hitchcock’s techniques for suspense so I’ll definitely take a look into that.
Moving on, I got a few comments on a little segment in the story where I explain that I’m a software student and explain the tech talk a bit. Most were saying that it wasn’t necessary to put in. Someone said it takes the reader out of the immersion from the novel, someone else said that she didn’t mind the tech talk and thus the segment wasn’t needed. So that part needs some reworking too.
There is also a part in the chapter where I describe my current living conditions. Many suggested that it seemed more like information dumping. So I either had to get rid of it completely or shrink it down to just one paragraph.
There were more minor suggestions made by the critiquers but these were the ones that stood out most for me. It gives a lot of feedback to work with and to process into the story thus far. It’ll take a while before I’ve edited the story completely with all the comments taken into account, but it’ll be absolutely worth it.