5.0

Review for The Beast

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The majority of my criticisms have already been addressed, and honestly, I put 100% of them down to this being a rough draft. To me, this reads like you were trying to get the words onto the page, not necessarily worrying much about style or any of the other minute details that are best left for the editing process after the first draft is complete anyway. (I do the same thing. Get the words down. Worry about the rest later.) The first few paragraphs seem to reinforce this theory, as it seems you wrote them to sketch out the world and the overall conflict. So, I’m not going to focus on any of those “rough draft” issues, since I know you’re likely already aware of them. Instead, I’ll focus more on characterization and setting the scene.

I do think you’re off to a great start. Gil will need to be better characterized in the beginning, to get readers invested in him and his welfare earlier. I would also recommend scattering the “groundwork” of the world around Gil’s narrative a bit, to break up the exposition while building the reader’s relationship with the protagonist. The events in this first installment could span three or four chapters once they’re fleshed out. A “status quo” should be established first. We need to see Gil’s normal routine before we get into the weeds of the political situation and the details of the statue itself. Readers have to get to know him a bit and wade into the waters of the world slowly. (Generally, if the world resembles something familiar to us, like modern-day NYC, we can skip some of that, but this is an entirely different universe and requires more of a lead-in.) Make them care about Gil first, and they’ll care about the world he lives in and the threats it presents to him.

The dialogue was great. Nothing about it seemed unnatural or awkward. I also love your descriptions and could clearly see everything—the statue, Hell, the Chancellor and his horses. Based on that, I know you know what has to be done in editing later (DEFINITELY LATER—after you’re done with your first draft), and I’m certain you’ll be able to handle it competently, but you know I’m here if you need help!

Premise 5.0
Authenticity 5.0
Characters 5.0
Dialogue 5.0
Details 5.0
Pacing 5.0
Theme 5.0
Clarity 5.0
Word Choice 5.0
Grammar 5.0
Spelling 5.0
Dread Factor 5.0
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