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#1 Edited by pezcore343 (20 posts) -

Hey all. I'm not sure if this would be considered spam but I think I'm most likely in the clear. If not let me know and I'll take this down.

So anyway, I've started writing a novel a little while ago and I've been wanting to get some input from people who are at the core of the video game community. Since I've been a fan of Giant Bomb for quite a while now, I figured you all might be a good source for critique and feedback.

The novel is about a group of 4 friends who, fed up with their mediocre to crappy jobs following college, decide to start making games together. I've finished three chapters so far (about 11,000 words total or so) and am part way done with the 4th chapter. I decided now would probably be a good time to start asking for some feedback since it's still relatively early in the writing process but I finally feel I have enough to actually show people.

I'll link to google docs since that's probably the easiest way to share this without bogging down the forums with a thousand unformatted posts. If people seem interested I'll add future chapters as I finish them, assuming this post doesn't violate the rules of the forums to begin with. Let me know what you think and thanks for reading.

EDIT: I've added chapter 4 below and am currently working on chapter 5. Chapter 1 has also been heavily edited and reuploaded to Google Docs

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

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#2 Edited by TrafalgarLaw (1715 posts) -

@pezcore343I'm not into Halo so I couldn't understand half the lingo of it. I'm also unsure who your target audience is, if it's just for videogamers that's a real narrow audience you really shouldn't go for. I've seen agreabiliy famed writers touch upon something like WoW without sounding too confusing or technical.

The writing is ok I guess. Most of the jokes don't land that very well. The main problem I had was maintaining an interest. in reading. While your first page of Chapter 1 starts off pretty good, you kinda destroy that interest with naming Halo. I'm more the type of person that would like to see the twist or surprise only at the end. You write something like an average match of Halo but why would I want to be interested in that, unless something really interesting happens? Doesn't seem like it happens in your first chapter.

You do have some believable conversations going on, somewhat childish about insulting with ''are you gay?'' at times, but it's passable. I'd rather see you write something else besides Halo. Chapter 2 sounds like a step-up but nothing interesting is going on really. You seem to sometimes have an overly descriptive explanation of things, you are allowed to assume that your readers know what kind of shady businesses GameStop delve into. Even then, it's kinda childish criticism.

What I noticed about the characters is that they are a mere tool to voice your opinions rather them having a personality of their own. I would offcourse need to read a lot more about them in order to judge them but they kinda come off as flat, your run-off-the-mill, average teenagers. Where's the interesting quirk about them? Wearing headphones all the times isn't an interesting quirk. I'm not saying that everyone needs to have a quirk but man are your characters dull.

I say good luck in any case, even though I'd rather read something non-gaming oriented. I strongly advice you put more time into developing your characters and coming up with interesting plot developments.

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#3 Posted by pezcore343 (20 posts) -

Hey @trafalgarlaw, sorry I didn't see your response sooner. Don't know how I failed to notice it. Thanks for taking to the time to read and comment, I appreciate it.

I've gotten the same criticism a few times about the first half of chapter 1 (too focused on the events of the game, too many references to Halo, etc) so I've been working on cutting that down. I decided to remove most of that stuff and start the chapter after the game is over and remove most of the jargon. I also rewrote a bit of the second half as a few things stuck out to me as having an inconsistent tone.

The whole "what are you, gay?" part I felt was kind of important because not only is one of the characters gay (and not 100% comfortable with it yet), but also that is a pretty common occurrence online. It seemed like a useful tool for establishing Vincent's feelings about his own sexuality and his friends' supportiveness at the same time. And yes, it is childish, but that's kind of the point.

Chapter 2 I also agree with some of your points about being overly critical of GameStop (and I didn't really intend for it to be a GameStop but I used it as a filler name for now), but the complaints about the store aren't really my own, but those of the characters who are unhappy working there. Perhaps I can change some things to make that more clear. I will keep what you said about being overly descriptive in mind though, I can definitely see that.

The only thing I really disagree with you about is the characters. I don't really know what you mean about adding interesting quirks, but I don't feel like characters need "quirks" to make them interesting really. They each have pretty distinct personalities, Silver is an optimist, kind of dumb at times, ambitious beyond his abilities, Bryn is hot tempered, sarcastic, and kind of a tomboy, Lucas Nguyen is a calm and collected loner who always keeps his cool and seems naturally good at just about everything, and Vincent is clearly very awkward, nerdy, uncomfortable with himself, and often oblivious. These traits obviously come out more as the story progresses, but I feel like I've begun establishing most of this as early as the beginning of chapter 1.

Anyway, thank you again for your comments. I've taken most of them into consideration and am working on editing things as we speak where I feel its necessary. I edited my initial post to contain the newly changed first chapter, and I suppose I'll add chapter 4 while I'm at it since I've recently finished that. Keep in mind, most of what I post is going to be rough draft type stuff, so feel free to criticize but keep in mind I'm aware of some of the more glaring flaws.