A smidge confused
I decided to write this review because the author posted in one of the groups that she wanted an honest review. She seemed sincere in her request, so I decided to review. In the interest of truth, I am a professional editor. I am also entering this contest, but there's not much to win, imo, so I'm primarily doing it for fun. I'm not IN ANY WAY judging her on a savvy ability to get votes. I praise her for that.
Read the story now
PLOT - I'm not entirely sure what it is. There are obviously some bratty characters. There is a queen and king. But as far as I could tell, it was just family members fighting. Maybe there's something here, but I don't know what it is. There is no clear plot that I could discern.
SETTING - This was a fair strength. I could sense a certain kind of fantasy setting that very obviously wasn't the past but also wasn't some sort of monarchy in the present. This is the author's strength, imho.
PACING - The pacing was fast because there was almost nothing but dialogue.
DIALOGUE - Sigh. This is where I have a major issue. I have a 6 year-old. I'm around other children of that age fairly regularly, and there is no way I would be cool with my kid calling me an "ass plug." The dialogue is absolutely ridiculous. My guess is that the author is very young and is projecting her youth onto her characters. That can be useful, but I don't know a child who speaks like that to their parents.
CHARACTERS - I could differentiate because there was the king and queen and bratty children, so in the most stereotypical sense, they had personalities. The king and queen only yelled at their children rather than discipline them and the "brats" just didn't do what they were told. So we have brats and parents who don't bother to care for their children. Why, as readers, should we care about them? At least make your kid go to her bedroom, for goodness' sake.
QUALITY OF PROSE
Choppy, at best. There were places that flowed somewhat smoothly. But in places, it was hard to tell which pronouns belonged to what character; there was a lot of incorrect comma placement, an incorrect semicolon, and consistently incorrect usage of royal titles. The quality was low enough to distract from the story.
Overall, the author clearly is strong in setting and pacing. She just needs to work out the plot. I realize it's a first chapter. A first chapter should have correct use. It should set up the characters, but more importantly, it should get the plot, whatever it is, moving. It should have dialogue that's at least *somewhat* believable and some character to care about. It is my belief that the author is likely young and is bound to improve quite a lot in time. A person who cares about her work always does.