Announcement – Help me improve my writing style

If you’re thinking this is a post about hiatus, rewrite or dropping the story, IT IS NOT, so don’t panic.

Edit: Thanks to Fyx from royalroad for making me realize what I have been lacking or should I say, stopped using!
Fufufu, this will make the next chapters much more interesting, I’ll definitely edit the other chapters to fit without changing the plot when I’m free.

TL/DR: I need help to improve my writing. Any suggestions, pointers at what’s exactly bad and needs to be improved are helpful and very much appreciated.

This is not a rant, more like a plea for assistance/guidance, so if you do decide to read, read it until the end.

Recently I received quite a few constructive reviews. Some authors rant about how someone throws mud at them or their story, but that’s not me. Saying “this is not an author-friendly site” and other things is completely beyond me as well.
For me, getting bashed by other viewers that something could be done better means that they care about the story.
These readers actually care so much that they even leave a review stating what’s wrong.

Does this feel bad to get reviews like this?
Of course it does, it means you, as an author, have fucked something up.

Although reviews like “Great work, keep it up.”, “More chapters please.” help you as an author to keep writing, pushing yourself to the limits and so on, only ones like ElDani’s make you realize some things.

First things first, I’ll adress the top review, Wolfsnow’s one.

To start off, the story revolving around “Mary Sue” was made so on purpose.
I don’t like weak characters, true, but that doesn’t mean I created the God of Universe, or something like that.
As you’ve clearly stated, there are no other characters shown up to late, especially the top ranking ones, thus you can’t really say if he’s op or not.

The only thing that you’re able to state, is that his class is overpowered, which is known far and wide.

Moving on, there’s the MMO issue, yes, it is very true, I haven’t shown the other characters as of yet.
They’ll appear soon, the reason they are hidden is because some of the game mechanics need to stay obscured for now.
Otherwise they would make their appearances earlier.
Same goes for the “random” rage/op skill usage. There are just game mechanics, you, as readers, are not aware of.
Don’t worry, these mechanics will be shown, just not yet.

One-dimensional characters, that’s true. I have realized how much this morning.
I knew they were peculiar, but yeah, you’re right.
Still, even if I were to write these chapters 27-ish, if I recall correctly right now, I would do it the same way.
Mika’s party is salvagable, they fit nicely.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re definitely weirdos, but I’ll make it work.

As for the other characters, mainly FireryRed and her party plus Sylph and her party, they didn’t see anything that disturbing to be feeling repulsive or something.
Everyone has his quirks, maybe I’m just displaying it too much. I’ll try to decrease the amount of random personalities.

Last part of that review, that is the story and its overall progress, power-spikes and so on.
It is how I wanted it to be. Sure, it could have been much better in the early stages if I wrote with the narration.
However, as I have decided to stick to the story without narration, all I can say is that the overall story sohuld have much more surprises in the “middle and late game” stages.

There’s the stats question.
I was planning to address it soon, that is after the tournament, so wait patiently.
Okay, to the main point now.

ElDani’s review that “opened my eyes”.

During the entire writing phase, I’ve come to realize that my writing style is pretty bad, horrendous even.
I was just not sure how to fix that.
Then when the reviews came in, saying that grammar is pretty good and all, I became oblivious, maybe even delusional, completely forgetting to step it up.

I don’t blame the readers, that’s not what I’m trying to stress.
They have probably just thought that there’s nothing more to expect, so the viewers decided to remain silent.
At least I think it went that way.

I’m not going to say “I’m not a native speaker” bla bla bla, that has nothing to do with this.
If I was more dilligent during learning phase, I could probably express myself better.
Both readers and I would be able to enjoy ourselves more.
What I’m trying to say, is that I have learnt a lot, it’s just I need to peruse the grammar.
There are a lot of expressions I have refrained from using, just because I wasn’t sure how to properly do so.

This story is definitely going to be at least 300 chapters long.
If I include the POVs, sidestories, descriptions, additional characters and whatever else comes to mind to fill in the few gaps, then there’s probably going to be around 600 chapters.

Then there’s the ending issue. I’ve thought of a few, some may prolong the story by another 600 chapters, others will leave it open for “second season” or whatever comes to mind, and some others will end the story definitely.

In any case, it’s going to be a long ride, so I don’t want my viewers to just stay for the plot while struggling with the terrible writing style.
I would feel bad doing so. The story that I wanted to write, is one that I would enjoy readinn myself.
Although I do not have many grammatical requirements, I am sure that reading one that is polished, well-worded and just makes you feel like reading a book is superior to the style I am using right now.
To sum it all up.

I’ll definitely look for some pointers myself, but if you do have anything specific that may help me, feel free to share in the comments.
Whether it is a simple comment stating what feels wrong or an essay stressing out all the errors, DO NOT HESITATE.
I want to know how to improve, and the obvious thing to do, at least I think it is obvious, is to ask.

So, with all that said, whether you’re an author, English major or just someone who knows of something that might help me, express it in the comments, I’ll take all the hate and love with pride, it just means you care so much about the story.

I may not aspire to become the professional writer, but hell, I can at least try to write like one.
I know it won’t be easy, nor will it happen in just a few days, but if I better my skills day by day, somewhere in the future, we’ll be able to enjoy yhr story with appropriate writing style.

Thanks to Wolfsnow, ElDani and euodiachloris for constructive reviews, on royalroad and here on the blog.

That’s all I wanted to say.
The updates will continue, I’ll try to keep it 4-5 chapters a week, while continuosly struggling to improve the writing style.

Actually, one more thing, I realize that earlier chapters require some attention, I’ll focus on getting them at least not to be completely terrible in the upcoming week.

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Announcement – Help me improve my writing style

  1. I love seeing authors getting better and better, but doing so in the middle of a story isn’t great, i mean slowly getting better, AWESOME! suddenly getting better would just confuse me a bit, distract me from the story.

    If i were you and wanted to become better at writing, i would put loiterous on hiatus, and do another story till you feel you’re ‘up to snuff’ or do another character POV. If so please go through the story and brush it up.

    But as it is, i, and probably many others who are reading your story, are reading many many others, be it Chinese novels, or Japanese light novels (or any other art style they use) and as many royalroad fanfics and we find interesting, so i quite enjoy a bit simpler story every once in a while.

    TL;DR i personally like your story as it is, but if you get better, please please, touch up the beginning of the story and bring it up to your (new) skill level, or else it may (unlikely) dissuade people from reading it.

    Like

    • That’s what I was planning to do. If I get better, then I’ll start from the earlier chapters, polishing them few at a time, like I don’t know, 3-4 a day and bring the new releases in the “improved” writing style. I would be able to catch up quite quickly.

      Like

  2. Hello, before I write anything constructive let me tell you that I like this series a lot really. I started reading it yesterday at midnight just to pass time and ended up storming through it all till 5am… yeah…

    As for why I did it, I liked the premise of the story and I liked the plot. There were many things I noticed while I was reading tho.

    1. I understand that you want to make the story easy to read and fun for us all, but I found that you over-used the internet jargon (i.e. memes). Once or twice is fine, but especially midway through I found like 2-3 per chapter if I remember correctly. This issue might put others off. You may not want to be a professional writer, but since you are trying to improve that means you are taking this seriously. With that said, you might as well turn this a bit more professional. If you have trouble with some words and feel you are turning a bit repetitive check thesaurus, that site provides you with synonims and helped me A LOT during creative writing for my english class.

    2. Regarding the characters, yes they are a bit plain right now. One of the major flaws that I found is that in these 48 chapters you still haven’t explained how Icicle can be so ruthless and have all the bloodlust and shit. He also said that Mika was totally his type and yet irl he’s almost a pussy. Since the rest of the characters haven’t been touched much yet, I won’t talk about them *cough* more Sara pls *cough*

    3. You said that you don’t want this to have too much narrative, but currently it has almost none. This causes the series not to read like a book. I’m not saying to go full on Harry Potter style but narrative is needed.

    4. You are saying some details aren’t fully explained yet and some stuff might seem off because you haven’t explained some game mechanics yet. The problem is, if you give a trait that seems off at first because 20-30 chapters later you’ll introduce a mechanic that will explain it, some readers will have stopped reading at the first point because the plot seems full of plot holes. The rest of the readers may have forgotten that little detail. You can’t forget that you are releasing this chapter by chapter instead of everything in one go. Things must make sense soon, or else too much mystery might backfire.

    Ok, having said all that I want to give you props because I couldn’t have written anything close to this, much less better. I think having the willpower to write a long story is comendable and praiseworthy, more so if it feels great to read, which it did!

    Please keep up the good work ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

    • Damn, I forgot about thesaurus. I often checked words when I read something else. *sigh* I guess I went too much on the author’s side of things.

      I know that some relationships haven’t been explained 48 chapters in, but I simply can’t show them without getting some other events set up first. Otherwise it will just feel incomplete.
      Let’s hope my readers will bear with me T__T

      When it comes to mechanics, I need them for some “in-the-near-future” events. They’ll slowly get explained, as the Albatros Company’s workers will be slowly introduced. After I’m done with that, the side stories about the beginning of the game, what other players did and so on should fill in the loops.

      The narrative, huh. I don’t know, I had thoughts like “I definitely need narrative here” and then it was a hard and tiring process to somehow find a way around it. I could definite do a better job with narrative, but I feel like I’ll lose the first person’s charm. It’s just contradicting, to have someone discover the world and yet someone else already knows it just because he is a narrator.
      Oh well, if push comes to shove, I’ll use that. Maybe I’ll be able to find some other way. (new characters possibly?)

      Anyways, thanks for the review, I appreciate it.
      I’ll definitely use thesaurus to find some replacements from now on.

      Like

  3. First off, your grammar is indeed quite good. Contrary to what one finds upon reading most of the stories on rrl.com or elsewhere on the web – and more and more often even in a book that’s self published at amazon – you don’t make many mistakes, syntax, grammar, sentence structure and so on. I’m a perfectionist and often can’t finish whatever i do because there’s always just another little thing to improve upon. That also is reflected in reading books. If its one mistake, i may be able to overlook it… but i also may not. And if its more than that i loose the thread of the story and end up seeing words and letters instead of the story going on in front of me. I literally get thrown out of whats going on, i can’t help it.

    On the other hand, my grammar is similar to yours. Whenever something is wrong, misspelled or whatever, it feels wrong before i even begin the next word. Might come from reading since i was a little child, i don’t know. Not everyone seems able to believe me. Anyway, doesn’t matter. That’s something you seem to be good at. Hm… was it you that used “casted” instead of “cast” once?

    Next, the content itself: Your main character is too overpowered. Within days of playing he comes out miles above other players, things conveniently seem to fall into his lap all at once. The whole “overpowered” thing will make your story less believable. A story has a main character that has to struggle against something. If you have him on steroids then you will also need an enemy on the same level. And that’s not one dungeon after another that gets harder. The church will only be an annoying fly to swat if he can take out one of the most powerful priests on his first trial. And to fight a god… well, you have to be a god too, and no MMO will implement the mechanism to become a god for just one or even a handful of players. That would be a waste of time and thus money, all content has to be accessible by thousands at the minimum. This is not DragonBallZ with its endless parade of ever stronger enemies just so the main character can grow ever stronger just seconds before loosing it all.

    The second part, what with everything conveniently falling into the lap of our hero, might happen once, might get explained away the second time by a manipulating hand from far above, but somehow, the whole “use orb, get title that makes him overpowered, gives him access to plenty of skills, makes him a noble, etc” all at once is not very entertaining. Rather, it gave me the impression of an author that has a certain part of a story he wants to tell impatiently but he has to wade through the unpleasant bog of boredom that is the part between starting and before gaining powers and wants to get there as fast as possible. No! That’s the part that makes or breaks a truly catching story. That was also the part that made DragonBallZ and similar anime so successful. And you seem to like taking shortcuts, mysteriously players and NPCs alike tend to break character in such cases and go from enemy by ‘little talk’ to ‘best and most trusted friends’ fast. I’ve only found one creature on the face of this, our earth that does that – a young dog. Feed it something nice and it becomes your best friend. Even a kitten requires weeks of feeding to gain it’s trust. Humans are a lot harder. Just go out and try to talk with someone. You must have a good reason why you start a talk, people are suspicious if they can’t think of one. Even looking out of the ordinary can get them to look at you as ‘unpleasant’ up to ‘dangerous’. So, look at your characters as a whole different person that acts accordingly, not a support character that acts however your main character needs them to act to advance a storyline. Develop a character! Establish that character! Each and every person has things it is good at and things it is not. Think of strength and weakness that both balance as well as salt a character to make it believable. Then, stay in character! Always! And, over time, a character can overcome a weakness or fall into darkness and loose a strength. But without a really traumatizing even that only ever happens gradually. Ever tried telling yourself on new years eve to do more sports? I’ve done that more often than not the last few years. The telling, not the doing. Changing yourself, overcoming a flaw, is really a hard thing to do.

    Another point i’d like to make, the main character seems to have a problem with aggression. That’s the kind of person that people tend to avoid after the first contact. No matter how bad with words he might be or how good his intentions really are, aggression is something people either avoid if at all possible (as in change side of road if said person is first noticed) or answered in kind by someone equally aggressive, although that shouting or hitting strangers on a road action is neither brave nor manly but rather stupid. Not that long ago a simple bar fight could mark or cripple you for life. Well, not this generation, medicine has taken huge steps in the past few decades, but that aggressiveness is not a conscious decision but rather born out of instinct that one person is strong enough to ignore if he thinks its stupid or follow if he’s not. Go to a bodybuilder shop, step into the way of someone bigger than you with lots of muscles and tell him something like ‘your mother is a whore’. Some will simply tell you how stupid that was. Others will simply hit you. Try the same thing in a police station and i rather doubt you will find a single person stupid enough to slug you one. The ones in uniform are way to intelligent for that and the other ones will likely have handcuffs on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But really, can such an aggressive person exist? Well, perhaps, but he then wouldn’t be intelligent enough to develop and then use such skills, right?

    So, enough of criticism. Good points that i remember…. hm, let’s see, the first fight with the minotaur was almost suitable. That’s the sort of thing i would expect from an aggressively minded character. Strength is manly! Don’t even think about not taking an attack head-on, such a cowardly act wouldn’t even occur to that character. That is not only something a minotaur fits well enough, a knight may also be quite suitable for the same mold. After all, knights are there to get hit, you don’t put yourself in a tin can believing you won’t get hit. You would need your head to be hard to shake, not to thing well. Fighting is done by training and muscle memory.

    Another thing that hints at deeper characters was the arena fight against that priest. The protagonist did not use the same skills that he did at the gate. He even switched to light magic. Hm, did he know beforehand that it would make him hunted by the church? He was thankful to the princess for killing that priest instead of doing so himself. If he knew the church would hunt him either way, it wouldn’t have mattered if he killed him or not. The only reason to let the princess kill him would be to both pull her onto the side of the main character or to keep the church busy being angry at the ruler of an important country and split their attention. Hmmm…. something the reader might think about. Always a good thing to have a story be deep and interesting enough that the reader can have an opinion about it – and a different opinion than the next reader.

    Now i have written way more than i intended, but then, that is one of my weaknesses. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let us hope i don’t get rejected via “too many letters” here.

    Like

    • I don’t think I’ve set anything like response letters limit, but it may be automatic.

      Anyways, thank you very much for that character creation part.

      I was thinking something along the lines of – what does this character do? its strength and quirks, but never thought about weaknesses and the overall settings. I’ll definitely take notes of that!

      I think I have used “casted” once, as the Internet misled me. Goddamn these unreliable sources. Then I tried to change it, but I think I’ve used it in two chapters and changed the spelling just in one. (I’ll hunt it down soon!)

      Don’t worry, I’m the same kind of freak as you, maybe not to the utmost perfection, but I try not to make mistakes if I can help it. (and kind of expect it of others, although if they constantly make it I just adapt.)

      Even during the elementary, I could read almost as good as I can right now, it always bothered me that most of the kids in my class couldn’t. Well that’s just how the world is, I guess.

      MC’s agression will be justified, at least I hope that it will be reasonable enough.
      For me it would pass, for you guys, we shall see.

      There is definitely a possibility that aggresive person can be intelligent, it is just not likely. Sometimes such people can’t help it, they act on an impulse or when the conditions are met, for example someone makes you all riled up.

      Well, let’s not forget it’s VR, for some people there it’s just a game, for others it’s like another life.
      These “aggresive” responses coming from MC should die down pretty soon. (at least in the game…wow, that spoiler.)

      I enjoyed writing about that brawl with Tyxx (the minotaur) as well, I don’t think there would be any other way to convince such a creature to join you.

      Did he know beforehand that he will be hunted by the church… ? Not really.
      But you can infer, can’t you?
      Like the goddess granted you powers in exchange for a task.
      You’ve completely cheated her.
      Basically never willing to fulfill your part of the deal and using the lack of quest timer to your advantage.
      Won’t she get the wind of it? It’s a goddess, of course she will know what happened.
      It’s the common sense to suspect that some punishment will be delivered. Icicle didn’t know in which form, as in being cursed, having some people kill him/seal him away and so on.
      In Icicle’s case it appeared as the church hunting him down. (at least he was promised so by Likaan)

      I don’t think there will ever be a player vs god fight,
      It’s simply unreasonable and extremely dumb.
      Surviving one half-assed attack from the god? Maybe.
      Winning the fight against one? Hell no.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Alright, where to begin…
    I stated two updates ago that my friends and I all read this story. We are forgetful and we check for updates whenever we’re bored, not because we’re shallow jerks who’s only critique is “Dang, it’s not updated every single day.” I am fully aware that you have a life. Go you. That’s not my point. I am very particular about the things that I read. I like what I like and that’s that. I happen to enjoy Loiterous.
    I never corrected your grammar because I haven’t needed to.
    I have noticed quite a few typos, but you addressed this a few chapters ago and promised you would work at that, so, again, I didn’t need to speak up.
    I guess I just have more faith in you as an author than some people because I assumed the characters were flat simply for the reason that the plot line hadn’t come full circle yet. I figured everyone would show up later and have whatever aspects of their character filled out that needed to be filled out at that point.
    I do not wish you to put Loiterous on hiatus because I like witnessing you grow as an author and, again, I truly enjoy the story.
    I understand constructive criticism is necessary for any kind of growth, but you seemed to have it under control, so I just assumed you had a plan.
    If you feel like we should critique you, fine, we’ll critique you, but I’m going tell you right off the bat that I like everything just the way it is right now. If you go back and fix the typos, fine, but if you go back and rewrite the origins of these characters you will lose readers.
    Now that you understand this, I will also explain my expectations of you from a readers perspective.
    I expect you to be the man with the plan.
    I expect you to improve on your writing style as time goes by.
    I expect you to edit your posts as thoroughly as possible for punctuation, grammar, and any other errors.
    I expect you to enjoy writing for me and all of your other readers.
    I expect you to understand that myself and others are reading your story because we want to, not because someone is making us.
    If I am going to spend my time reading what you have to write, you need to understand that I like you for you and your style. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t waste my time on you.
    I expect you to know all of this and I expect you be confident in what you write.
    If someone said something that made you “open your eyes” that’s great. I’m glad that you had a chance to realize what you could do to improve. I’m ecstatic that you are embracing this chance to grow, however, I speak not only for myself, but for my friends as well when I say that I have a favor to ask of you.
    Please, just don’t forget that we are reading your work because of you and not because of someone else. If you all of a sudden changed things completely we would be disappointed, share the sentiment that we expected more from you, and move on to something else. We simply request that you continue to develop your skills as an author, but remember that you are unique and that you don’t need to conform to someone else’s expectations of you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keep being awesome and we’ll keep reading. Deal?
    Sincerely,
    tinyrhino, tinyrhino_lover, Emu, ST, SH, and Troy

    Like

    • That leap of faith T___T Damn, I feel like crying T_T I promise I won’t change the chapters. Just the overall style. I know there is something buried in this goddamn first person style, something that will make the story even better, I just don’t know what it is!

      There won’t be any hiatuses, unless I have an accident (god pls no, I enjoy writing, not all the time, there are some chapters that I struggle with, but I do in general T_T)

      No rewrites either. I do have a plan.
      If you all stick around it will probably come down to: it’s awesome and it’s utter garbage. These will be the two camps I can foresee ๐Ÿ˜€

      I want to improve, I know that the grammar won’t be that hard, it will just take time, I know most of the things I need to keep tabs on, it’s just that I need to relearn them.

      But, as I said before, there’s something bothering me, something that is the key to making this story glorious, I need to find that or die trying! (wow that cheesy line!)

      So, to sum it up, the chapters will be released 4-5 times a week, we’ll see how fast can I get the exact sequence of events, I’ll be fixing the grammar errors in the meantime, and then the “style upgrade” will happen only after I’ve found what I’m looking for, which I have no idea what it is in the moment… T__T

      Hell, if something to better my story doesn’t exist, I’ll create it myself!

      Like

      • Fyx on royalroad pointed it out to me, so EUREKA, now there’s only grammar advancement and proper character building, which I should be good at after reading all the pointers I’ve been given.

        Like

  5. A mi realmente me gusta como escribe, es cuesta avanzar con la historia y es fรกcil de entender, tambiรฉn disfruto mucho de cuando cambia los puntos de vista de los personajes, se vuelve realmente interesante, y lo que mas me gusta es la personalidad del personaje principal, definitivamente me gusta esta historia y espero seguir disfrutando de su escritura que es bastante entretenida.

    Like

  6. Well, as you said in this one post about your story,the part that is most missing is the writing character part. If you want to improve,well i could suggest you slow down the action or develop even further would help you a lot.The main point is to make this story appealing to a reader and smooth. This method is a stantard one for the most authors and the dificulty depends from the kind of story. For your story,this part i think will be quite hard to improve.As I said before you should also develop a stantard character background like you have did with the protagonist,and in the last episode with the princess.I have to say i am quite pleased to have spoted psychological content on this one story,although I never expected that,but its really poorly done. If you want to add this one category,then you shouldnt slck off on this part.Well for me these two things are your major weakness.I cannot add anything else even if you lack somewhere,because this story is my cup of tea,so i wanted to add only your negatives to stay as neutral on this rating as i can.But GOOD JOB,this story with improving may become one of my favorites.
    3.6/5 My overall rating ( the strictest one)

    Like

    • Yeah, I’m learning from lectures on youtube now, so I have seen what I am missing. I’ll try fixing that soon, when I have most or all of the plot figured out.

      These psychological changes and characters will definitely get some loving, I know they are too poorly shown for now. (they’ll get their “screen time” soon, but still, they could have been shown much better earlier on in the story.)

      I’ll work on that, thanks for the heads up and honest opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. hi there, I’m probably really late on this, but heres a few tips for your writing style. Take it with a grain of salt, I’m a college student not a professional.

    -Flow. This is something all stories MUST have, and yours does, just in limited qualities. Think of it as plot jumping. I know it may seem like your taking to much time on something that doesn’t need explaining, but it helps the story flow. A slow chapter a little after a really suspenseful chapter allows the readers excitement to relax a little. don’t do it too much though. It also enables the story to be more than just action and romance, it allows you to put lots of different elements into the story.
    -Grammer. Not a big problem here, just would recommend that you use a proof reader, as Ive noticed (a few) some spelling mistakes and missing words. All things considered, if your not native to this language your doing a good job.
    -Length. Your chapters are short. Which is fine, short chapters can be great. They can also make you skip over a lot of stuff you should have covered. Like for example, descriptions. This character is playing VR, and its supposed to look awesome, so describe some of that awesome scenario. instead of just saying, ” its a forest” try describing some of the fauna that make it special, or how its not special at all. Just implementing that will increase your word count by a bit. do be careful not to overuse it though.

    Thoughts of a reader that started reading yesterday.
    Feel free to ask me more question if you wish it. or not, its your choice.

    Like

    • That’s actually really helpful.
      Most of that stuff I realized after writing for some time, so earlier chapters are in dire need of revisement. I somehow can’t get to it though… Yeah, I’m lazy.

      Descriptions. I certainly am lacking in this area, but sometimes I feel they are not useful at all and prolong unnecessary explanations. Maybe I’m wrong, I’ll work on that.

      Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s