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[Feedback Request] Looking for feedback on new story

Jon Morgan

New Member
I am writing a novel which focuses on anthropomorphic animals as main characters. The story is a mix between "X-Files," "Stranger Things," and "Homeland." I am looking for feedback on the first two chapters, which are available on the web here: hairythings.gazerbeam.com: Hairy Things – Hairy Things Feel free to contact me with suggestions, or use the links towards the bottom of the content to navigate to the Google Docs version and post your feedback there via comments and changes.

I am also hoping to expand the world depicted by the story into a broader universe via follow up stories and stories submitted by other writers or artists. Visitors are welcome to submit their work via a link on the site.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. There is also a link on the homepage which will allow you to join a Discord server, which is available for additional collaboration or live chat.
 

RedRabbit

New Member
Hey there, I read the first chapter of your novel, seems like an interesting concept that could to some real dark places! I made a few notes based on my first read-through, here we go:
  1. Could use more time introducing the status quo - I gathered a lot of details of your world from this first chapter, which is good. I think in some cases you are jumping to the action before giving your reader time to understand the world. Example one is in the first paragraph - the dream sequence. The sudden introduction of the car crash and the wife into the normal scene feels unearned - at this point we don't know anything about the main character, their anxieties or backstory, or anything about the setting. It's a horrifying event, but because there is no real setup as to the tone of the story, it can feel a little funny in its abruptness. The second example is the dinner with the president. We are introduced to the idea that the humans have made a deal with the anthros moments before that deal is broken. Both cases could benefit from foreshadowing, introduce some elements that signal doom for the characters, and the horror of the scene will be more effective when it arrives. Also, it's good to give the reader time to adjust to the rules of the world before changing them.
  2. Jumping scenes mid conversation - At one point a scene begins in a helicopter, then jumps to the crime scene without a transition. This is done with a conversation over a radio, but in general you should signal the change in point of view. The first part is being written with the helicopter agent as the focal point, and then changes to the other detective. A line like "So-n-so's voice crackled over the radio in fox's ear" would be enough to signal that we've changed locations.
  3. Is it difficult to tell the anthros apart from human people? Lines like "leading Derek to wonder if [the security officer] was a sheep" imply that it's not obvious.
  4. Character names denoting species - I caught "Fox" and "Feline" as family names that I assume denote the species of the characters. I don't have a problem with this, although it's kind of a silly device for a story that seems to be dealing with some brutal subject matter - familial homicide, murdering people for food and the like. Maybe you're going for a darkly comedic tone that I haven't picked up on, but that kind of vibe needs to be carefully established early on.
Other than that I like your dialogue, it's concise and witty in a police procedural kind of way, which fits the X-files tone. Keep it up!
 
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