Shub Agar

I write short stories.

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The Last Magnus

The book starts off with a huge exposition. It does question reality, which makes it interesting, but I feel like it would have had a better place if it was integrated with a character or a situation. If it was inspired from some event. Having a whole explanation of the world standing on its own without any other context makes it a bit hard to grasp. I like lengthy descriptions, but the paragraphs could be shorter. Overall, the story has all the elements of a classic magical-adventure-esque book, and the characters don't disappear into the words.

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Well Made

Intriguing opening, well-written descriptions, unique plot line. I like that the story encompasses many characters in detail, as opposed to just following Derek/Margo's line of thought. Another thing that stood out to me was the fact that I found Margo to be more mysterious than Derek; generally the angelic being comes across like that. It was quite refreshing. The only tip I have for you is that you have seemed to have found a style/structure and stuck with it; it would be cool if you could be more experimenting with your style, in whatever way makes sense to you! Great job.

(Note: Because of my time constraint I haven't completed the whole book yet)

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Strong Intentions

As someone who writes poetry, I can tell there are very strong, unfiltered emotions that are driving your words. Your intention is easily put across. Here are some things you could work on:

1. Formatting: In comparison to prose, poetry looks like a skeleton on the page. It does not look very full. That is why it's important to 'aesthetically' format it. Be very conscious of where you use upper case, lower case. Of when you switch between them, or when you're consistent. Things like line changing, punctuation etc can play a huge role too. Try to play around with them more.

2. Figures of Speech: I'm not saying that all poets should use metaphors, but it would help you grow as a writer if you tried to get more complex and creative with the way you use words.

Good effort, keep writing!

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Original, Unique

Nice introduction to the world, especially the bit about how humans saw the Monarchs. Intrigued me immediately. The contrast between the prologue and the first chapter is perfect! The book is quite original, the characters are diverse and the writing is thorough. I didn't get to finish all the chapters because of my time constraint, but I'm very very interested in what you've done here. Really good read so far!

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Great Medival-Themed Read

The protagonist's thoughts are seamlessly integrated with his descriptions/observations of his surroundings. Love the firm dialogue, the way the character knows himself and what he's doing. There's a neat balance between emotions and actions. As for grammar and technicalities, a lot of dialogue should have had commas instead of full stops, but that's not very important. You're a good writer who has put in great thought and effort in your work. Keep going!

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Needs some work

Rape and abuse is a very sensitive issue, it needs to be carefully dealt with. We don't see Aeneas try hard to bring about reform in the way the men treat women, especially after how Ebony was treated by the guards when they first caught her. Neither do we see him attempt to have a long conversation about what happened to her, and whenever they talk about it it is too brief, the topic is changed too soon. This needs to be fixed.

The plot was interesting. We have a woman who became a mother before finding her mate, an alpha who isn't like other alphas, and then all the conflict between Raven and Ebony etc. But the writing style needs development, it reminds me a bit of Wattpad. Try to step out of your comfort zone and write in a different way. Play around with stream of thought, sentence length etc. Good luck!

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Lots of depth

I like that you have populated this story with small digressions which touch upon the past or the life of the character. We were seamlessly taken through the protagonist's interests, his life, his mom, his dad etc in his stream-of-conciousness. The time travel segments were my favourite, especially when we read about what happened to the world as we knew it.

There is a remarkable similarity between your character and my character from Released (another short story I've written). The self-depreciating jokes/commentary! My only issue with this novel was that the protag doesn't seem to react to shocking/unknown circumstances; the narrative is quite passive when it comes to that and experiencing trauma (sometimes).

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Heartfelt

The setup of the story led me to believe that it would follow very typical tropes in the angel genre. I expected the narrator to be a young adult who would have some sort of sexual/romantic relationship with Gabriel. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case. When she chanted 'Anna, Anna, Anna' when called Azreal, and when she started talking about her children, I knew that the story would have something that hasn't been explored as much in this genre. My only criticisms are: what was Gabriel's motive when he decided to turn her into a human? There were no stakes, no exchanges, no mention of a deep relationship; and, instead of saying that there was 'no evidence of the boy at all' it would be better if you could describe the house etc in such a way that the readers are able to (slowly) decipher that for themselves. It could add another layer to your story.

Overall, I loved the emotion of this piece. My ears felt quiet and my heart felt slow when I read it. Wish it was a little longer, though. Good work!

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Needs Work

Anna's character grows on you, you find yourself rooting for her, which is great. Jeremy and her chemistry seems pretty natural. The writing style could use more finesse. Internal thoughts should be italicised. Also it would be better if you don't list out the character's personality (like in the first chapter) and instead allow us to discover her qualities for ourselves. Keep writing!

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A Wicked Heritage

Josephine, the protagonist, seems quite aloof despite how her parents kept controlling her life and taking things away from her. Her character didn’t always reflect that oppression, rather we were introduced to her the moment she broke free and got to see who she really is. As you read on, you get a sense that Josephine and Dagon have gone through similar situations, that they’re even a reflection of each other, in some ways.

Dagon is very impressional, mechanically going from one conclusion to another. He seems very capable at what he does and occupies his space in his world to the fullest. His personality, though, is quite questionable. He is moody, constantly looks down on others, and doesn’t know how to control his words (his verbal outbursts are alarming). I’d say he is a dangerous male character, the kind who is nasty but is also forgiven.

Josephine is polite, cheerful and takes things head on. She’s kind and shows a lot of courage. The problem is that these characteristics don’t exactly line up with how emotional she gets, and the things she cries at so openly, especially in the first half of the book. Something about how quickly she accepts the fact that demons exist is also unrealistic.

The novel, as I slowly came to realize, builds on established archetypes (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, sometimes). Dagon enjoys teasing Josephine by smirking at her and realising how his presence affects her, but at the same time he is cold towards her. Later he allows himself to be vulnerable and, as you rightly put it, ‘helplessness’ in front of her confidence. Josephine, though projected as a strong protagonist, is often found in situations where she is dependent on/comforted by a man like Dagon. There are times when Dagon gets moody or misunderstands something (for whatever reason) and takes out his uncontrolled rage/confusion on her. Their exchanges do develop from comical to explosive to understanding, but Dagon doesn’t redeem himself, in my eyes.

Now, to the plot. Towards the first half of the book, when the world and its systems and the characters were being set up, there were a lot of instances with the potential to engage the readers in subtle horror, suspense etc. For example, Josephine is startled by odd things happening in the house, but we have already been told who is behind that, and why. Later on, as Dagon is slowly integrated into the human world, we get to see sides to him that wouldn’t have been revealed otherwise, which I appreciate as a reader. The first few chapters gave me the impression that the book would be focused on the ‘Fantasy’ elements of the story, but it was actually more about the Fantastical world arranging itself around their romance, which I am not complaining about.

Overall, the characters didn’t feel completely new but the plot was unique in itself. The writing style was easy to follow, engaging, and contained a lot of dialogue. It managed to interest the reader and draw them in quite well. Since this is an ongoing novel, I am curious to see how things end up between Dagon and his father, as the romance already seems too promising. I am hoping for surprising twists too!

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Fun but Needs Refinement

The MC is a young highschool kid, and it is apparent through the writing style and the way she talks to herself a lot, although I don't think that was intended by the author. The novel features some great friendships and focuses on highschool life (I especially liked the scene when they were complaining about the principal--takes me back to those days haha). It is engaging, but needs refinement, especially the format in which the dialogues are written etc. The MC can be immature but the writing style should be more mature, in my opinion.

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Intense, Sensual, Sinister

There are only 4 chapters up as of now. And I've got to say: WOW that is an incredible start! The prologue in italics was so engaging, so intriguing that it grips the reader. Once it ends, you expect the story to start from a low and reach a crescendo, but it starts off in action, and persists. There's always something happening, always someone new coming. The writing is amazingly developed, and has a personal touch. It has that 'pop' factor which makes it so intense, sensual, sinister and unique. Great job so far!

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A Burst

I could be wrong but the impression I got from this poem is that it was mostly written in a burst, not built slowly over a couple of days. Something about the pace brings a certain zeal to it. It's a good interpretation of a universally sought idea. My only criticism would be for you to invent new phrases and bend the poetic affordance more.

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It's getting there

The characters are fleshed-out, they do not blend into each other. The writing style is clearly that of a person who has been writing for quite a while. The relationship between the characters didn't stagnate. My criticism: there were too many instances that the character was narrating her thoughts directly, in italics. I think most of those places could have been integrated into the writing instead. Also, the book lacks a spark to it. I find myself more reading and feeling not as much. Maybe the writing style could be tweaked and experimented with more. Overall, though, it's a well rounded read.

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Emotion-driven

I love how the nostalgia from the times between her and her best friend (and saying 'you' instead of the name) intertwines with her budding connection with JK. It's a lovely contrast between the past and the present, allowing us to understand that life does, in fact, go on. The writing is of good quality too. Keep writing!

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Immersive

We're introduced to the world and the character's thoughts/mind very seamlessly. The writing style makes the story easy to visualize, and it's has a practiced and professional touch to it. The dialogue flows naturally, and conveys the emotion of the speakers. The balances and constraints of the world are made very clear, so are the protagonist's motives. Nothing is amiss, very well written! You have great skill when it comes to writing, I'd love to see more from you.

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Good Idea and Attempt

First off, I like how the summary raises many questions, that all of them are answered in the poem, word to word. My impression from the poem is that the narrator is exploring their sense of self and the influence Marcus has over them. They are wondering whether Marcus would be good to them, whether he would falter somewhere. They are exploring the relationship and addressing its complexity. And the most important of all: they are looking to grow together. Just my impression.

It is nice to see Marcus painted as a person, not as a symbol of good or evil. Poem lacks the magic of some metaphors and other figures of speech, which could really compliment your vision. A suggestion for you: try to write a poem which crescendos in the middle and then slowly cools down, like a volcano. That is the structure, I feel, that would have suited this sort of poem. Anyway, good job, keep writing!

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Simple

The reason why I chose to review this book is because it's a short story, and I love short stories. This one was light and simple, which is not a problem at all, but lacked a few fundamental things:
1. Focus on the intention behind the story
2. A 'Wow' Factor
The plot was centered around Valentine's day being inclusive of all kinds of love, and the main pairing in question seemed to be Ron and Hermione. I think showing the kind of fights they had (from Luna's perspective) then showing how they made up (here there's a lot of scope for some atrocious, comedic scenes) instead of just stating it in a paragraph would have given more layers to the story. Luna's own thoughts could be more expanded upon. I do not mean to say that the story has to be longer, but you could look for ways to add more depth to the characters' observations, commentary etc.

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Good

The poems have uplifting themes that cover many kinds of emotions and ideals. I don't think you need to explain them. Also, just a small tip, look into inventing your own idioms where you're using common phrases. It'll be a cool exploration.

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Adventurous

Criticism: The opening of the story bombards the reader with adjectives, and every sentence (which isn't a dialogue) is separated with a line change, breaking the in-head narration. The flow would be much better if you worked on these two things. The chapter endings could be stronger.

Overall: I like that there are a variety of characters and fantastical elements which work together well, and that the fantastical elements have personalities of their own, The imagery isn't intensely described, but it's still easy to visualise.

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The Archeological Chronicles

The ending of the chapters are a little weak, and something is missing from the writing in general... maybe some depth? I'm not sure what to call it. There is a traditional way of writing, but you've written the story in a more current-era style; like how the subject (I etc) is omitted, or words like 'like' and 'kinda' are used. I am sort of conservative when it comes to writing, so those bits stood out to me, but they did do really well at conveying the emotion (frustration etc) of the protagonist.

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Very original

Effective imagery and lots of original elements to the story. Fresh characters which don't feel recycled from common tropes. Enjoying it so far!

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Good

Neat intention behind the first chapter. We are immediately drawn into action and introduced to the character's emotions. The writing style is very tell-not-show, which isn't always my thing, but it fits well here because of the historical circumstances and setting. Good job.

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Good

All the characters are clearly driven, and the narration is promising, it has the ability to draw readers in, so keep working on that.

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Good fanfic

The chapter endings could be stronger, and the opening scene's imagery could be more descriptive to immerse us in the mood/environment of the book. Neat writing.

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Keep going

I've never seen it happen (I'm quite lucky, I guess), but if this is how kids often bully someone then it's quite disturbing. I feel like the summary gave away most of the plot, unless you have some thrilling twists planned. It would be cool to see you bring something like that to the table.

The writing is very wattpad-esque. With time I'm sure you'll continue to develop a unique voice. Daily practise and daily reading is the key to that. Okay, now that I mentioned unique voice, I need to say this: as a writer, try to find some unique things about your character, and build on those. It'll help a lot in fleshing out a satisfactory story. Good luck!

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Lovely!

The atmosphere was set up effectively, especially because of the way the gods and goddesses (especially Hades) were introduced. I like how there was a little story attached to each other them, and it wasn't tedious to read. Through her commentary, we are able to gauge the kind of person Persephone is. The couple's turmoil and romance constantly draws the reader in. The emotion is conveyed, line changing is done well, and the writing style suits the story.

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Good

The opening scene of the prologue could have had a little more emotion to it, rather than just information (since it'll determine if the readers stay or not). Scene transitions should be a little smoother, although you get better at that as the story progresses. Lastly, character descriptions could be more elaborate (for example in the first chapter you used 'pretty' to describe both the girls). I say this because the way you describe the setting/surrounding is remarkably better.

It's good to see that something's always going on (the plot is paced well), and the story has a clear dystopian vibe to it.

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Good, lots of variety

Here is some constructive criticism: In many places there's a lot of telling and hardly any showing, which can be rectified. The tone of the story is pretty even because of the writing style; it should change when new characters/ new tension points are introduced. It would also be cool if you could play around with sentence lengths (for example: urgent/intense scenes can have shorter, quicker sentences to convey the emotion better).

Overall the story is entertaining, especially because of the dialogue and the variety of characters. The world building is done well enough too. Good effort!

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Neat Work

Criticism:
The introduction of the main character should be more seamless, perhaps start the story with some action and then delve into the character's thoughts/motives. The opening scene is the most important part which draws the reader in.

The high-tension scenes lack a punch sometimes. Maybe play with the italics, the sentence lengths and line/paragraph changing.

There are times where you seem to tell and then show too. For example: 'I stiffened my posture; I didn't trust her' or 'I could now identify her characteristics. She was ancient; hundreds of wrinkles...' I feel like this isn't required; either choose to tell or choose to show.

Overall:
The writing style is well established, and it clearly improves with time; I thoroughly enjoyed the uniform paragraphs of appropriate lengths, they add to the cohesiveness of a story. All the technicalities feel researched and accurate. The imagery is good, easy to visualize. The plot itself is quick, and ever-growing, and the character's motives and feelings are clear. Good work.

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Well Edited and Unpredictable

[I read several of the chapters in the beginning]

I was very pleased to see how realistic the scenes were, especially the one where she wasn't able to climb up the rope at her first try. I was expecting her to push through, because it's a story, but it made more sense for her to fail. It's great how the author doesn't romanticize the problematic erotica. I just wish we could have more paragraphs about how the protagonist felt, not just what she was thinking. The writing style is well developed and well edited, but I feel like it lacks a spark in a few places. But it's still satisfactory.

Anyway, I have no idea where the plot is going to go next, and that's always a good sign.

(Also the first scene of this novel was perfectly done!)

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Table Eleven

My opinion on this book oscillated in ups and downs. I'm not a fan of the stereotypical archetypes the characters were introduced to us as. Later on, El turned out to be a very strong, confident woman who understands her sexual freedom. There was also a lot of technical lingo which proved how intelligent and skilled she is. I love it. But then the dynamic changed, she became his 'property' and accepted it so easily? Her lack of reaction didn't make sense. It went from a one-night stand to something very serious, which is realistic when it comes to the plot, but it could have been done better. This is one example of what I meant by oscillations. Overall, though, this is an interesting read, and fun in places where El is fierce.

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Rigid, requires more Flow

The emotions behind each piece are (logically) clear, but the writing style makes the poems very rigid and lacking in imagery. I get the feeling that you are too conscious, too calculating. You should let go while writing; it will help you have more creative freedom. Don't think, don't connect, just write the words as they come to you in the flow.

That being said, there is gradual improvement in the poems, and the last one I've read, 'Awkward Barrier' is a good milestone. You should definitely keep writing poetry, because only time and practice can make you a better poet.

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Poetic, Dark

Criticism: There are too many adjectives (especially to describe physicality), you might want to cut down on that; beyond a point, we stop seeing colors and start seeing words only.

Overall: The writing style is promising and continues to reach heights. The prose is mature in the way it creates connections. Imagery tied in with the emotional content of the character is a 10/10. Keep practising your craft, you're doing great!

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