Madly_A_Hatter

Detroit

The view through a rainbow'd lens

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Style/content conflicts

Hi! I saw your request for reads and thought I would take a look at the stories you have posted. I've only read the first couple chapters, but I'm hoping that I can still provide some valuable feedback.
I think my main question for you is, who is your audience? I'm wondering because it feels like there are some conflicts between your writing style and content. Stylistically, I would assume that you're writing for children, maybe 8-11 years old. Regarding content, though, particularly with the pop culture references and the romantic focus, it would better suit a YA audience.
I like that you break the fourth wall with the meta-acknowledgements of the narrator that he's telling a story, but I think it can also come at the cost of some complexity and the "show, don't tell" rule. For example, by having him introduce all the main characters at the very beginning, you deprive the readers of the experience of meeting them organically. I like the detail that you've put into your setting and the background of the characters and story, but I think it might be more interesting to weave those details more subtly into your scenes. There's also moments when you could use more sensory detail. Right now you have strong visual detail, but what about sounds, smells, tastes? Those can all contribute to a reader feeling like they're in the scene, instead of being told a story. Instead of saying that the palace is luxurious, you can have Spiny do something that specifically displays that it's luxurious. Your readers will understand without you having to spell it out. Character traits can similarly be expressed-- someone might be smart, athletic, shallow, etc., but it's more effective to put them in a scenario that displays that trait than to directly tell your reader and eliminate the need for reading comprehension.
I hope this review has been helpful. Best of luck with all your endeavours!
Dovetails and dragon claws,
The Hatter

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YES

Hello! I saw your reads request over on the feed, and I'm glad I did, because this was an excellent read and I intend to follow it as you continue writing and uploading chapters. I think it has an Over the Garden Wall feel, if you're familiar with the show, which I really enjoy. Your characters are all well-detailed and on their way to solid development. Finn seems rather mature for his age, but I suppose he's still within the realm of believability. You have a nice pace going, and I appreciate that you don't sacrifice having actual scenes for the sake of getting through the opening exposition faster. I'm already partial to Jett, because I danced ballet for a long time and even now it's a significant part of who I am.

I only knocked you a star for technical skills because there's a couple places where your verb tense changes inappropriately-- I think you slip into present tense when it should be past. There's also a sentence in the second chapter, I think, when Jett is chopping firewood, when you use "realise" twice in the same sentence. Other than that and maybe the occasional typo, everything looks good.

Go forth and conquer! I can't wait to see where this goes.
Dovetails and dragon claws,
The Hatter

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Name games

Hi! First, thank you for a good read. I didn't make it quite all the way through because my head was starting to spin from keeping track of everything, but I pushed through to chapter 9-ish and I'm really glad that I saw this story.
Apocalyptic stories, with or without zombies, typically aren't my cup of tea, so I'm already impressed because you managed to suck me in. I think you've established just the right amount of tension, so that while there's always an awareness of impending doom, it's not overwhelming. You balance dark moments and light moments very nicely.
My main criticism is simply that of organisation-- you have a lot of characters and a lot of plot lines going on in these beginning chapters, and they can be difficult to keep straight. When the scene changes but you're writing in the first person, it can take me a while to figure out who's speaking and whether they're new or not, and a couple times I had to reread in order to figure it out.
I also noticed that you repeat names a couple times, and I'm not sure if its intentional or not. "Gavin" is the asshole that Ajani kills in the beginning, and then he's also the guy who welcomes them to the outpost. "Nguyen" is the last name of the Gavin that welcomes them to the outpost, and its also Celina's last name. I think you might also have a typo at some point in the Gavin & Fred scene-- the name Martin pops up out of nowhere and then isn't repeated.
I really enjoy the diversity in background that your characters have, and it makes it visually interesting when I picture them as a group. You might consider revising some of the character description though-- I noticed that you tend to have a rather formulaic paragraph of physical description for each of them, and even though their features are distinct, the formats of their descriptions all echo each other. I usually try to plant those kinds of details within the rest of the text, as additional details in scenes, to prevent the need for heavy descriptive paragraphs.
I hope this has been helpful! I'm already very invested in your story, so I"ll definitely be back to continue reading and watch for updates!
Dovetails and dragon claws,
The Hatter

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Give us a scene

Hey hey! I offered to give you a read, so here I am. I only know the bare bones of Avengers lore, so I probably wasn't as well oriented as I might have been, but I still enjoyed it. Regarding technicalities, you have a couple places where the subject/verb agreement or maintenance of the same tense is a little off, but nothing major. I would also say you could go through and mark all the places where you use "had"; it can be easy to overuse, and it makes the reader feel like they're being told the story instead of shown.

That last is actual my primary criticism. I feel like there's a lot of thick background in the beginning, with most of the events or shifts being told instead of shown. For example, you tell us that Tony is moving through these difficult stages of emotion, but it might be more effective to put him in a situation that is directly related to or otherwise prompts his thoughts.

Otherwise, I think you're moving along really well, and I enjoy your phrasing in a lot of moments. I look forward to seeing more of your work!

Dovetails and dragon claws,
The Hatter

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