27 Mar 2012

What a Review/Critique should look like

I have asked a couple of people to read The Dragon Glider and give me their honest opinion so that I may know where I have to make changes. Most of them kept hammering me on my grammar and I know that my grammar suck, which is not very helpful at this moment. I need to know what they think of my storytelling skills and was blessed when John send me his and Mikes discussion they had over my book.

Hi Isa
I have a friend from Australia that I read and discuss books with, right now we are reading your manuscript, we had a discussion about the first 33% of it this weekend, we are reading 33% per week of your manuscript and discussing it when we meet on a private chat in the weekends. I have been thinking about how to tell you what I think about it and I thought maybe it is better just to let you see our discussion about it, f
rom the message you sent me on Goodreads it seems like you are eager to get some feedback now, so instead of waiting until I finish reading it, I will let you see our discussion about the first 33% of the book and then decide for yourself if you can use any of it to improve it, you wanted an honest opinion and I dont think you can get anything more honest than reading our discussion, I hope you dont think it is a cruel way to let you know what we think about your book.I think our ages might be a good thing to take into consideration too, I am 30 years old and Mike is 55, but he is cool we have read young adult books together before and he likes them, books like The Hunger Games, Clockwork Angel and Graceling, so he does have some knowledge about young adult books, I think I also mentioned it before but he really likes to read about dragons, so I think he is more experienced about dragon books than I am.
01[16:22] did you like the dragon glider manuscript?
[16:23] ummm its okay , but not aimed at me as a target reader :)
01[16:23] it is too young adult?
[16:24] i think the target audience is young teenage girls :)
[16:25] some of the english didnt make sense too , but i gathered overall what the autor was saying
[16:26] it is a lot younger adult than hunger games i think - so far anyway
[16:26] but then i didnt really think hunger games was appropriate young adult :)
01[16:27] there was some shopping and girls giggling about boys and other stuff 
[16:27] yes - thats what makes me think it is targetted for young girls :)
[16:27] so far it is a little boring to me - not being a young girl :)
01[16:28] I also agree that it is more young adult than The hunger games so far01[16:28] I did think that some of it reminded me of Harry Potter
[16:28] Mike> you mean young people and magic ?
[16:29] well different science anyway :)
01[16:29] they were also at a school learning magic
[16:29] ahhh , yes :)
01[16:30] John> the name of the shield reminded me also of Harry Potters broom
01[16:30] it got some name too
[16:30] the samurai 2000 ? :)
01[16:30] yes :)
[16:31] im amazed i remembered that - there were so many details introduced
01[16:31] so a harry potter with dragons for girls
[16:31] that seems to be
[16:31] and so many dragon types - not to mention gliders :)
01[16:32] Yes I think for me there is too many types actually, I think it was better if it was a little more simpel 
01[16:32] is there anything that you think needs improvement?
[16:32] i did hguess the second riddle before i read it :)
[16:33] what needs feeding but drink kills
[16:33] but then i thought of alcohol :)
01[16:33] hehe thats funny
[16:35] but the major way the book needs improving is its translation to english
[16:36] i thought it was written pretty well - in description and ideas , though maybe too many ideas at once
01[16:37] yes you are right, but she did write to me again that she knows she need a good editor so it was not that we should look at that she was already working on it
[16:37] the descriptions could have been an older audience , but i think the ideas for younger
01[16:37] I think there is too much information, what do you think about that?
[16:38] yes , a bit too much for me
[16:38] maybe younger people can handle it though
01[16:39] I thought at the point after george scared alaina and Becky and alaina talked in the room I found all the information too much 
[16:39] and too much of just plain dinner menus
[16:40] but shopping and malls clinched it for me - it was aimed at young girls :)
[16:40] plus the talk and thinking of boys :)
01[16:41] lol yes
01[16:41] what about the riddles did you think that did justify all the talk about dinner menus?
[16:41] i think the 33% was right for me - i kind of cant get into the story yet
[16:41] there was too much talk of eating :)
[16:41] for me anyway :)
[16:42] im trying to remain skinny , but failing :)
01[16:42] hehe
01[16:42] is there more that bothered you about the book?
[16:45] descriptions everywhere with the ideas
[16:46] but so far 1/3 into the book not a lot has happened
[16:46] well the english translation isnt that good , so i imagine what it would be like in the authors language
[16:47] the ideas translate , but the grammer often doesnt
01[16:47] I think her main language is english
[16:47] so instead of me reading fluidly , sometimes i am stumped as to what something might mean
[16:48] i figured out most , but one idea/word that i dont know i couldnt figure out
01[16:48] what was that?
[16:49] of course i forget it :)
01[16:49] oh thats too bad
[16:49] careen or campleen or something like
[16:50] it might be a suid afrika thing :)
01[16:50] that might be
[16:55] sometimes the english was out of order too - like some words in front that should have been behind - thats why i thought author couldnt have been english
[16:57] i think its a good book so far for young girls
01[16:57] yes I like it too
[16:57] well my english isnt perfect either :)
01[16:57] a bit boring at some points like you said, I think it is because the way the univers is being built up for the reader, it is being built up mainly by dialogue
01[16:57] I thought the end of what we read for today was actually really good, the end of chapter 8 that is
01[16:58] about becky getting hit by lightning and all that
01[16:58] very thrilling
[16:58] and was she ? - or was it just the ascension ?
[17:00] she found her power was electricity ?
[17:00] so maybe the lighning was her rise
[17:01] lightning
01[17:01] oh thats interesting I didnt think about that
01[17:01] but she really didnt like that she now has to claim George
[17:02] but everyone else envied her :)
01[17:02] he was good looking but she cant stand him
[17:03] he played that prank on elaina
01[17:04] I think it might stick further that that
01[17:04] *than that
[17:04] he is a blue dragon
01[17:05] where did you end reading?
[17:05] but he was put up to it by that other bloke
[17:05] at i think chap 9 - preparation
01[17:06] so the last you read was Becky crying that the only one she could claim was George?
[17:06] i would have read a bit more if there was more about the oracle - but that was over quick
[17:06] well a little after someone said there was another boy , and she smiled at that :)
[17:07] geee - all those girls are boy crazy , and at that age i thought it was the boys that were girl crazy :)
[17:07] and boys dont really grow up :)
01[17:08] I think they are 16 year olds
[17:09] or maybe a little younger
[17:09] the girls anyway - they seem it :)
01[17:10] it was mentioned
[17:10] oh :)
01[17:11] Elaina is 15
01[17:11] "Lovers" Becky chants and I manage to blush scarlet red in between all this craziness. They both gasp. "Elaina, are you still a virgin?"
01[17:11]   "I am only fifteen, what do you think" and both girls look around nervously.
[17:12] that impies the others arnt ?
01[17:12] yes that they arent virgins
[17:13] o dear , the girls of dragonia :)
01[17:14] do you want to continue reading it?
[17:14] i havent had or wouldnt like a virgin
[17:14] the responsibility of making it extra good first time
01[17:14] good thing you are not a sun blast then
[17:15] no :) , and yes i would like to read more
[17:15] but then again , if i were a sun blast i wouldnt care about the girl
01[17:16] do we read to 66% for next week?
[17:16] yes , that seems about right for me
01[17:17] do you have some more things you think that are good about the book?
[17:18] just the ideas and the descriptive nature - i can tell by the writing the target audience - it isnt haphazard
[17:19] haphazard means all over the place - random even
I do like the whole set up around the fantasy univers, and I agree there are a lot of good and interesting ideas01[17:19] well we might see more later on in the novel
[17:20] more what ?
01[17:20] more good things :)
01[17:21] it might be a slow starter I mean
[17:21] oh - well so far the main protagonist has been that blue dragon at the start
01[17:22] I find the things going on with Becky when we ended our reading for this week more interesting
[17:22] when the lightning happened i thought it may be an attack , but wasnt
[17:23] and the oracle was a lt down
[17:23] let down
01[17:23] I think there is a lot of talk in this novel
01[17:23] dialogue
[17:24] yes - a bit boring to me , but may be what young girls like
[17:24] well shopping and clothes i know girls of all ages like :)
01[17:24] yes :)
01[17:25] I think this is a YA fantasy chick lit
[17:25] probably talking of boys too :)
[17:29] also i can pick a flaw in the grammer that is common even amongst english speaking peoples :)
[17:30] it's is not possessive
[17:30] it's is short for it is
[17:30] its is the possessive in english
[17:30] funny old english :)
01[17:31] compared to some indie books,  I have read I actually think this is one of the better

So that was what they thought about my novel so far. Some would think it's mean but it is exactly what I needed to know where I stand with my novel.
I can't wait for next week to find out what John and Mike thinks about the second part of my novel and hopefully I can get something out of it as well.
Authors should not be scared of negative critique. They are the best kind to turn your novel from average to best seller.
Thank you again for your input John and Mike and look forward till next week, for the rest of you have an awesome day till next time.


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