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Old 11-15-2014, 01:40 PM   #1
RedDusker
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Requesting feedback for a story

Hello! I'm a new author here at Literotica, but I read stories here for several years now. Recently I wanted to write my own story and my musings led me to write this story called "At The Cabin", first at the CHYOA site and now I started posting a compiled version here at Literotica. I posted it at the Novels and Novellas category, but it features a few elements from other categories as well. I already got to post three chapters, but I would like to ask if anyone here could please take a look at the story and check what it needs to be improved or what's already good. Despite the fact that I already have most of the story mapped out in my head, I'm also accepting inputs and suggestions as to where the story and the characters could go.

Here are the links for the chapters already submitted:
http://www.literotica.com/s/at-the-cabin-ch-01
http://www.literotica.com/s/at-the-cabin-ch-02
http://www.literotica.com/s/at-the-cabin-ch-03

Thank you so much for reading and submitting feedback if you can.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:29 PM   #2
PennLady
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Hi. I read a little bit of the first chapter. I'm sorry I didn't read more, but I can give you a few quick reactions. Full disclosure, I had two main reasons for not reading more than I did. First, I don't have the time (at least not right now). Second, I do not care for stories that focus on teenagers. I'll be more discussing some mechanical things, so at least for that the subject doesn't matter.

First, and I'm sure this is just me, I was trying to figure out how high school seniors got two whole weeks off while the school year was still on. I know Christmas break can amount to about ten days, maybe twelve, but spring break isn't usually quite that long. Sorry, that's not so important, and I'd bet some schools do have breaks like that.

In the first sentence, "The young man driving that blue car...", I think it would flow better if it was "the blue car." As a reader, I'm thinking, what blue car?

The introductions of Zack and Gavin are fine, but rote. He's this old, this tall, etc. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but it's dull reading and feels repetitive. It gets worse a little later when you're introducing the remaining characters. There's too much information and not enough differentiation and I can't keep them straight, and it's not helped but the repeated statement that each one is eighteen.

I know that's there because of Lit's underage rule, and I guess it's better safe than sorry, but that got on my nerves. Also, the age should be spelled out as eighteen.

I'd suggest cutting back on that kind of info dump and parceling out information throughout the story so that you can bring in the differences between each character.

Your dialogue punctuation is frequently wrong. For example:

"Damn it, Zack." Chloe complained groggily...

Should be "Damn it, Zack," Chloe complained groggily...

When you have a dialogue or attribution tag -- he said, she exclaimed, etc. -- there should be a comma before the close quote, and the attribution should begin with a lower-case letter unless it's a proper name. For example: "I like this," she said. Or: "What a great dress!" she exclaimed.

If you don't have a dialogue tag, then you have a period, like: "What did you say?" He frowned at her.

That's about all I can tell you from what I read. I hope some of it helps. Good luck with the story.
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
RedDusker
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Thanks, PennLady! On the long break issue, well, I'm not a native english speaker, so I'm not that familiar with the school holidays; I used the two-week long spring break because I researched a little on Google and found that some places in USA give two weeks on that particular break. If that's not the case, I'm sorry about the inconsistency.

As for the grammar issues, I'm trying to improve my writing. The editors whom I tried to contact within Literotica program didn't answer my emails, so I had to post the chapters as I wrote it.

Thanks again for replying to my request, I think it's very important to hear every kind of input and feedback that others have to offer. Regards.
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
8letters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDusker View Post
Hello! I'm a new author here at Literotica, but I read stories here for several years now. Recently I wanted to write my own story and my musings led me to write this story called "At The Cabin", first at the CHYOA site and now I started posting a compiled version here at Literotica. I posted it at the Novels and Novellas category, but it features a few elements from other categories as well. I already got to post three chapters, but I would like to ask if anyone here could please take a look at the story and check what it needs to be improved or what's already good. Despite the fact that I already have most of the story mapped out in my head, I'm also accepting inputs and suggestions as to where the story and the characters could go.

Here are the links for the chapters already submitted:
http://www.literotica.com/s/at-the-cabin-ch-01
http://www.literotica.com/s/at-the-cabin-ch-02
http://www.literotica.com/s/at-the-cabin-ch-03

Thank you so much for reading and submitting feedback if you can.
My two cents
* Don't start with a series. Put this one on hold and do some short stories. When I started, I improved dramatically from story to story (not that I have a lot of experience). Lots of people will read your first chapter (which is going to be your worse as you are learning) and decide to not read any more chapters
* You are slamming into that you don't enough about the US to write a story set there. PennLady already said that Spring Break is one week here, not two. I can't imagine parents of a group of college-bound high school kids letting them go off on their own for two weeks. Not going to happen. Seniors in college would be fine. "Double" isn't a size of bed in the US. "Secluded cabin just outside town"? - not in suburban America
* Start with an interesting scene. When they decide on the sleeping arrangements would be good choice. A drive in a car - zzzzzzzzzzz
* Your English hurts your story. I know it's tough to find an editor, particularly for stories that I going to require a lot of editing at first. Another reason to start with a short stories - it gives you a chance to build an audience that might include someone who would be willing to edit for you
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
PennLady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDusker View Post
Thanks, PennLady! On the long break issue, well, I'm not a native english speaker, so I'm not that familiar with the school holidays; I used the two-week long spring break because I researched a little on Google and found that some places in USA give two weeks on that particular break. If that's not the case, I'm sorry about the inconsistency.
On the plus side, I never suspected you weren't a native English speaker. You did have some issues with phrasing, but then so does just about everyone, and nothing flagged it for me as the fact that English wasn't your first language. So good job there.

For the specifics -- spring break would differ from place to place, I'm sure. However, in my experience, most schools have approximately a week off. There's no reason to have two. Even in the US college system, it's only about one week. Interrupting the school year in the spring for two weeks, not too far removed from the winter break, is no good.

Also, while I suspect some parents would let their kids go for two weeks, it would depend on a lot of things. And yes, at age 18 in the US you are an adult, but if you are still in high school and dependent on your parents, you are still beholden to them to a great extent. To me, your whole setup might make more sense if it was in the summer after their senior year. Taking two weeks before college starts, without having the senior year to contend with, would probably be easier to write and make more sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDusker View Post
As for the grammar issues, I'm trying to improve my writing. The editors whom I tried to contact within Literotica program didn't answer my emails, so I had to post the chapters as I wrote it.
It is tough to find editors here, and editing is not a requirement. You could look up some grammar sites, though, that would help with some of that. There are lots of rules, and it's easy to get confused, so take your time with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDusker View Post
Thanks again for replying to my request, I think it's very important to hear every kind of input and feedback that others have to offer. Regards.
Well you're welcome and good luck. I don't exactly hold with "write what you know," but when you're writing in a second language about a culture that's you're not totally familiar with, you are setting yourself a high bar.
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