Anyone who has been following me is aware that I recently sought out a few reviews of my serial novel, Dosterra, being published on JukePop Serials. My main motivation for doing this was feedback. Creative writing is still very new to me. It’s not something I even considered trying my hand at until a little over a year ago, so I need people to tell me where I’m getting it right and where I’m getting it wrong (My husband and my mother are great, but lack the objectivity I’m looking for).
As far as Dosterra goes, after x-number of reviews are in–there are a few more to come–the consensus seems to be that the first chapter is the roughest, and the story (and my writing) improves around chapter 3.
The upside of this feedback is that it tells me I’m improving. The downside is that given the medium in which I have chosen to publish Dosterra people are unlikely to go past chapter one if they don’t like it. The way JukePop Serials is laid out, readers can access chapter one of any story without signing up for the site, but to go farther creating an account or signing in via facebook is required. Plus with the number of stories available, even those with an account will probably move on to another story if they are not enthralled by the end of chapter one.
Now for the confession,
The roughness of chapter one does not come as a huge surprise to me–in retrospect at least. When I first got the idea for Dosterra I had only ever written short stories, but when I started writing I quickly realised that I couldn’t fit the story into an accepted short story length. I was considering making it a series of short stories—but still had not even considered attempting a novel—when I stumbled across JukePop Serials looking for the first 5000 words of potential novels to serialize. Lo and behold, I had about 5000 words. Figuring it was a long shot, but what the hell, I sent it in and, holy crap they liked it! Now I have to learn to write a novel. I had a feeling that what I had was not the best start to a novel, but lacked the skills at the time to fix it and figured that I would learn as I went along.
And learn I have. One big difference between a short story and a novel: the amount of time you have to fit in all the relevant information. In chapter one of Dosterra, I basically tried to fit a novel level of information into a short story slice of time.
Lesson learned: Give the reader some time to engage before confusing the crap out of them.
I must say I am very much enjoying this learning process and am thankful to JukePop for accepting my story, which gave me that little extra push to dive in. I am very appreciative to those of you who have had the patience to get past chapter one and on to the rest of what Dosterra has to offer. I hope you will continue, and I hope these reviews will encourage some others to follow suit knowing there is something to look forward to.
In case anyone is wondering, chapter seven is only a few days away 🙂