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Honest opinions wanted as well as critique ( multiple parts. still ongoing)

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
First off, just another self-published writer, here. I have no training as an editor and no experience beyond the beta reader help I have provided to others, and received from others, in the past.

Just going with what paragraphs that were written on your FA page. I have not yet looked into the rest of this story.

Writing in the first person is hard to pull off, at least in my experience; for the same reasons that one can tire of listening to a friend talking about themselves from across a coffee shop table. Too many 'I's at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs can make a reader's eyes glaze over. Find ways to mix it up.

The first six or so paragraphs feel autobiographical. Your personal story, is the most likely assumption. Nothing wrong with that, but it can easily give the reader a feeling of peeking into the author's journal of personal fantasies. Some find that feeling awkward.

Regarding dialogue: As virtually all of the dialogue in my years of reading has followed the basic tenet of 'one person talks per paragraph', I personally found the 'He said, now the other one said, now he said'. . . style very distracting.

As an ex-auto mechanic and professional motorcycle tech and old-school tuner, I can appreciate those bits, but the general reader will need some sort of follow-up, soon, in order for this information to feel relevant to the reader. Mechanic work, and driving, must somehow feed into this plot, later. (If you have already done so, great. Please understand that I have not read that deeply into the story.)

Overall, the writing style was different enough from what I am used to seeing, in hundreds of other stories, that I did not feel compelled, or even curious, to find out what happens next. To paraphrase Stephen King, writing is about seduction, and I was not seduced into turning the page.
 

ConorHyena

From out of the rain.
Same disclaimer for me - I'm an author, not an editor or trained beta reader.

There's a lot of seemingly-superfluous information in the first section. Your banging out a fuckton of back-end info about your character in a very short time, giving your reader info overload. Backstory and such is important but a character serves the story, not the other way around. He is a front, a vehicle to tell the world something - so you should only give information that is pertaining to the story or is there to advance it in a meaningful way - this principle is known as 'chekov's gun'

There's not a lot of scene-setting and background descriptions going on, your main character is, emotionally, a blank slate. There's no connection points, or the ones that are there got buried in too much information about stuff.

I personally find the formatting to be visually repetitive but this might be down to the .txt limitations - I'm a formatting guru and I've never worked in .txt

The plot in itself is an interesting idea and can be evolved to work well, but ultimately I'll have to agree with reptile logic here (basically this is me adding yeen logic) It's not a very seductive piece.

It'd make a neat starting point for future reworking tho. Writing is an art and you need decades to fully master it.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
There's a lot of information overload within the first paragraph that honestly turned me off from reading beyond it.
Looking into more books that write the first-person style fluidly might help you get the format down.
An example I wrote out of boredom wouldn't be the best, but it might be helpful...

There's a certain amount of charm to be found in the gutter mud of Lestaia, in the same way you might find an old man charming when he gives a compliment. It's off-putting and comforting at the same time, and you never know whether you should just leave right then and there or give the poor thing a pity-smile before quickly thinking up an excuse to leave anyway. To put it bluntly, Lestaia isn't a city anyone would want to stay in for long...but then again, there's little choice isn't there? It's this or the badlands, and no one wants to deal with radiation poisoning. So instead you wake up, go to your meaningless desk job, sip some coffee, and pretend that there isn't a parasite feeding off of your insane caffeine addiction.

"Yep, I've got the life..." I sipped my coffee slowly and deliberately as the blank screen of workplace hell stared back at me. If I was more sleep deprived, I'd have assumed it was jeering me for missing deadlines, but instead, it did frustratingly little. I guess work means actually putting in effort. Things were so much easier when I was in a Coma. "Alroza hasn't been holding up too good, huh?"

"Not since the CEO was capped last month." Faline's voice was both a comfort and a concern. Rarely did the beast speak outside of mission-oriented filler information. The coma must have worried her more than I thought, or maybe she's just feeling restless. Part of me wanted to ask, but the smarter part held back. Acknowledging her beyond her protocol was like talking to a doll with a specific set of lines...it didn't matter that she was by technicality sentient. So were dogs, when they still existed that is. "If you hate me that much, just get a new implant."


Was that contempt or disappointment?


"Last time I checked it was you who hated me." I responded matter-of-factly, typing away mindlessly at emails to try and catch up with my metrics for the day. It took a long time for Faline's voice to crack in my left ear, following the right one's tinnitus and leaving for little more than a mild headache. By the time the response processed, my fingers had already froze. Faline's response was unexpected, to say the least.

From this small conversation snippet you get the following...

1. The location - Lestaia; a city of sorts, and from the sounds of it not a very good one judging from the use of words like "gutter mud" to express it's charms
2. The situation - Our character is in this city not by choice but by circumstance; per the sentence "Lestaia isn't a city anyone would want to stay in for long..."
3. The struggle - Our character is dealing with a shift in work; but by that we know our character has a job, and it's relatively boring based on "So instead you wake up, go to your meaningless desk job,"
4. The duo - Our duo is revealed by the very next sentence here, maintaining fluidity; "sip some coffee, and pretend that there isn't a parasite feeding off of your insane caffeine addiction." and their relationship is more fortified below with the "Acknowledging her beyond her protocol was like talking to a doll with a specific set of lines."
5. The Personality - Based on all of the above, the character can be seen as rather pessimistic and aloof
6. The Time - Based on the line "So were dogs, when they still existed that is." we can assume this is either a distant future or near-distant future

So wrapped up in one paragraph we have...

A character in a dangerous futuristic city trying to make ends meet in spite of being a host to a parasite whose relationship is confusing at best.

All we're missing is a few names and background but that can always be added later. The important part is conveying information quickly and concisely within an in-universe format that still maintains a sense of natural fluidity can be hard, and mine is nowhere near perfect. I haven't even started editing it let alone finished the story, but the start is important and finding a way to hint at things you can build up later is key to both immersion and plot.

For example, taking your first paragraph...

My name is Jules, I'm twenty-six years old, I will be twenty-seven in a few months. I'm five feet eleven inches tall, though I don't look like it; I'm told I slouch. Some people could say I'm a writer, I've published a book or two and they've gotten many fans. I do it for fun, so I don't have deadlines or publishers or anything like that. No, I put it on a website where people could buy one chapter or one page for a set amount of money that I decide.

We could turn it into...

Every writer has that great debate; self-publish or traditional? Trust in the luck of the cards or be used for your talents like a pig by the system? Personally speaking, anything is better than sitting on your ass and refusing to write...so I wrote and published it online, like every other teenage dirtbag out there. Except I'm not really a teenager anymore...though I still get carded when grabbing a beer. I guess it's my slouch or height, or maybe I'm just too baby faced for the waitress...either way the chapters I wrote did little for my bank account, and right now the cool leather of my steering wheel did more for my burgeoning headache than any sweet voice. "Jules," I resist the urge to hit the lock on my door, and my cautious nature is shoved to the side by David's easy smile. "You forgot your burger, man."

From this we get...

1. The main character is an overthinker
2. The main character prefers self-publishing; and may have an ego because of it
3. In spite of his ego he's still cautious and prefers to keep to himself over being in the crowd
4. He doesn't get a lot of money from his writing (right now, anyhow)
5. He's often mistaken for being under the drinking age - which means he is of drinking age, but looks under 25 putting his age range between 18 - 23
6. He slouches
7. Maybe social situations give him headaches?


And so on.

This was just an example though, I don't know your characters so please treat this as just example materials and nothing more. :3

You could also review some of this...

1. 7 Tips for First Person Narratives
2. Writing in First Person: 4 Tips and 6 Pitfalls
3. One Quick Tip for Effective First Person Writing
4. A video on first person writing by an Author
5. Another video on first person writing by an Author


Hope the above helps some!
 
Last edited:

Julesfuller

Active Member
First off, just another self-published writer, here. I have no training as an editor and no experience beyond the beta reader help I have provided to others, and received from others, in the past.

Just going with what paragraphs that were written on your FA page. I have not yet looked into the rest of this story.

Writing in the first person is hard to pull off, at least in my experience; for the same reasons that one can tire of listening to a friend talking about themselves from across a coffee shop table. Too many 'I's at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs can make a reader's eyes glaze over. Find ways to mix it up.

The first six or so paragraphs feel autobiographical. Your personal story, is the most likely assumption. Nothing wrong with that, but it can easily give the reader a feeling of peeking into the author's journal of personal fantasies. Some find that feeling awkward.

Regarding dialogue: As virtually all of the dialogue in my years of reading has followed the basic tenet of 'one person talks per paragraph', I personally found the 'He said, now the other one said, now he said'. . . style very distracting.

As an ex-auto mechanic and professional motorcycle tech and old-school tuner, I can appreciate those bits, but the general reader will need some sort of follow-up, soon, in order for this information to feel relevant to the reader. Mechanic work, and driving, must somehow feed into this plot, later. (If you have already done so, great. Please understand that I have not read that deeply into the story.)

Overall, the writing style was different enough from what I am used to seeing, in hundreds of other stories, that I did not feel compelled, or even curious, to find out what happens next. To paraphrase Stephen King, writing is about seduction, and I was not seduced into turning the page.
I appreciate your critique very much although for me I think taking it to heart would be more difficult than it first seems. Honestly I think that looking back my biggest problem with the first chapter was that I wrote it a long time ago back when I was still in school and I didn't have the proper mental state to keep going for long periods of time and so whenever I got in front of my computer I just put something down as quick as I could and didn't think about it. That's just how it was.

The part about my character being a DIY mechanic was more to show that my character was the kind of person who like to take things apart and figure out how they work. booksmart and street-smart at the best of times and he can figure out what he needs to when he needs to do it.

So here is my question to you. how would you write1 multiple characters talking about one subject and then that subject changing to something else, the way my writing style works is quite simple I change the paragraph roughly every four lines in a Word document to keep the text from blocking itself in to the point where it's hard to read. With that stated as a rule of thumb I've been try to keep it that the paragraph stays within four or five lines then I have the characters talking back and forth to each other breaking up the conversation every so often when the text gets a little too long usually changing the paragraph when the subject of the matter is changed.

Like for example; you walk into a room, explain what you see, then you notice there's someone in the room. at which point paragraph changes to describing the person in the room, then the paragraph changes to describe your first interactions with that person well I'm having conversation with the person the interaction would be in one paragraph As long as it's talking about a single subject the moment the subject focuses on something else is the moment that the paragraph is changed.


Or at least that's my thoughts of the matter I could be completely wrong on how this works or maybe I am doing it wrong I don't know
 

Julesfuller

Active Member
Same disclaimer for me - I'm an author, not an editor or trained beta reader.

There's a lot of seemingly-superfluous information in the first section. Your banging out a fuckton of back-end info about your character in a very short time, giving your reader info overload. Backstory and such is important but a character serves the story, not the other way around. He is a front, a vehicle to tell the world something - so you should only give information that is pertaining to the story or is there to advance it in a meaningful way - this principle is known as 'chekov's gun'

There's not a lot of scene-setting and background descriptions going on, your main character is, emotionally, a blank slate. There's no connection points, or the ones that are there got buried in too much information about stuff.

I personally find the formatting to be visually repetitive but this might be down to the .txt limitations - I'm a formatting guru and I've never worked in .txt

The plot in itself is an interesting idea and can be evolved to work well, but ultimately I'll have to agree with reptile logic here (basically this is me adding yeen logic) It's not a very seductive piece.

It'd make a neat starting point for future reworking tho. Writing is an art and you need decades to fully master it.
Thank you for your input I do someone see your point where the information seems random but when you put it all together there is one major point to the information that I gave about my character that spells out his personality rather well

The whole point of that whole first section is to explain my character's personality as book smart and street-smart and he like to take things apart and figure out how they work he's the kind of person that can take something apart and put it back together and then tell you how it works or what's wrong with it I did rework the chapter behind the scenes to not have that information and it does work that way but the fact is that with that information it reinforces parts of the story later that give off the true vibe of the character he's basically me just a few steps ahead I like to take things apart but I don't know how to put them back together again I can see how it's not that clear but at the same time I don't see how I can fix it

As for the formatting yeah limitations I started out in a Word document and as a rule of thumb I make you flying out of text for lines long 5 if I have to if I have it any more than that it's hard to read for not only me but the readers I've had in the past as well but the text file format takes and stretches that line of text so that it takes up less space on the page when it's uploaded online so I have yet to actually figure out exactly where is a good stopping point for paragraphs would be in a text format I am working on it and later chapters are a bit better
 

Julesfuller

Active Member
There's a lot of information overload within the first paragraph that honestly turned me off from reading beyond it.
Looking into more books that write the first-person style fluidly might help you get the format down.
An example I wrote out of boredom wouldn't be the best, but it might be helpful...



From this small conversation snippet you get the following...

1. The location - Lestaia; a city of sorts, and from the sounds of it not a very good one judging from the use of words like "gutter mud" to express it's charms
2. The situation - Our character is in this city not by choice but by circumstance; per the sentence "Lestaia isn't a city anyone would want to stay in for long..."
3. The struggle - Our character is dealing with a shift in work; but by that we know our character has a job, and it's relatively boring based on "So instead you wake up, go to your meaningless desk job,"
4. The duo - Our duo is revealed by the very next sentence here, maintaining fluidity; "sip some coffee, and pretend that there isn't a parasite feeding off of your insane caffeine addiction." and their relationship is more fortified below with the "Acknowledging her beyond her protocol was like talking to a doll with a specific set of lines."
5. The Personality - Based on all of the above, the character can be seen as rather pessimistic and aloof
6. The Time - Based on the line "So were dogs, when they still existed that is." we can assume this is either a distant future or near-distant future

So wrapped up in one paragraph we have...



All we're missing is a few names and background but that can always be added later. The important part is conveying information quickly and concisely within an in-universe format that still maintains a sense of natural fluidity can be hard, and mine is nowhere near perfect. I haven't even started editing it let alone finished the story, but the start is important and finding a way to hint at things you can build up later is key to both immersion and plot.

For example, taking your first paragraph...



We could turn it into...



From this we get...

1. The main character is an overthinker
2. The main character prefers self-publishing; and may have an ego because of it
3. In spite of his ego he's still cautious and prefers to keep to himself over being in the crowd
4. He doesn't get a lot of money from his writing (right now, anyhow)
5. He's often mistaken for being under the drinking age - which means he is of drinking age, but looks under 25 putting his age range between 18 - 23
6. He slouches
7. Maybe social situations give him headaches?


And so on.

This was just an example though, I don't know your characters so please treat this as just example materials and nothing more. :3

You could also review some of this...

1. 7 Tips for First Person Narratives
2. Writing in First Person: 4 Tips and 6 Pitfalls
3. One Quick Tip for Effective First Person Writing
4. A video on first person writing by an Author
5. Another video on first person writing by an Author


Hope the above helps some!
It's part of the beginning of the story had its own purpose all in all in the beginning of the paragraph Was to tell you my age without a doubt the fact that I'm taller than I look the fact that I'm book smart and street-smart as well as the fact that I like to take things apart and figure out how they work and then put them back together there was also another point to how I worded the beginning it was an internal monologue of sorts there aren't too many people who have those very often and when they do they don't usually drown out that long it tells you that my character is possibly somewhat different perhaps mentally handicapped each portion of the story had its own meaning and reason behind it but that meaning in reason isn't exactly obvious and while that's something that I do know and I will admit I need to work on I will say that I did my best especially for how young I was when I made that chapter 14 if I can recall and I was still in school not to mention my attention span was about the size of a walnut
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
I appreciate your critique very much although for me I think taking it to heart would be more difficult than it first seems. Honestly I think that looking back my biggest problem with the first chapter was that I wrote it a long time ago back when I was still in school and I didn't have the proper mental state to keep going for long periods of time and so whenever I got in front of my computer I just put something down as quick as I could and didn't think about it. That's just how it was.

The part about my character being a DIY mechanic was more to show that my character was the kind of person who like to take things apart and figure out how they work. booksmart and street-smart at the best of times and he can figure out what he needs to when he needs to do it.

So here is my question to you. how would you write1 multiple characters talking about one subject and then that subject changing to something else, the way my writing style works is quite simple I change the paragraph roughly every four lines in a Word document to keep the text from blocking itself in to the point where it's hard to read. With that stated as a rule of thumb I've been try to keep it that the paragraph stays within four or five lines then I have the characters talking back and forth to each other breaking up the conversation every so often when the text gets a little too long usually changing the paragraph when the subject of the matter is changed.

Like for example; you walk into a room, explain what you see, then you notice there's someone in the room. at which point paragraph changes to describing the person in the room, then the paragraph changes to describe your first interactions with that person well I'm having conversation with the person the interaction would be in one paragraph As long as it's talking about a single subject the moment the subject focuses on something else is the moment that the paragraph is changed.


Or at least that's my thoughts of the matter I could be completely wrong on how this works or maybe I am doing it wrong I don't know

These questions are best answered by a professional editor; better yet, a trained writing coach. Either of these options can cost a lot of money, so I understand if this is not a viable option for you.

Just reading your reply made my head spin. Though I understand that ignoring punctuation and capitalization, and crashing sentences together and such, is generally acceptable among people who frequent discord servers and online forums like this one, it does make the reader have to work much harder in figuring out the writer's message. In literature, especially fiction, the reader is looking for entertainment; a temporary escape from their day to day existence.

Everything you do, or don't do, that makes the reader work harder will add up, and will ultimately discourage the reader from finishing that story. As a writer, one should always practice making their prose easy on the eyes of the reader. This way you, the writer don't have to mentally shift gears between casual writing such as on discords, and the more formal writing that we've all seen in popular fiction. A good rule of thumb: If you read your prose aloud, exactly as the words and punctuation indicate one should, and it doesn't feel smooth and easy to your own ears, then you must rewrite it. Never assume that the reader will 'get what I meant anyway'. Writing is a form of storytelling; it must sound good when spoken.

Regarding multiple characters talking about one subject, think about it in terms of the reader physically being there and watching the scene:

Person A speaks, and the reader turns their attention to that person. Person A is now the one subject of interest to the reader, "Talking about a specific model of car. . ." If person A has only a word or two to say, fine. The person has said their piece.

Now person B starts speaking, and now the reader is 'looking' to person B. Person B is now the next subject of interest, "Their opinion on the subject of that specific car. . ."

Person C has something to say. It turns out that they are explaining something in detail and have a whole lot to say. One very useful trick here, commonly utilized when transcribing interviews and such, allows for a new subject to be spoken by that same person: "Person C talks about that car. . .(no quotation marks at the end here signifies that Person C is not done talking)
(Still person C, but now they are talking about the engine specifications of that car)
"(quotation marks here, so reader knows that it's a quote, not narrative) Person C talks about that particular car's engine specifications. . . (this can be done any number of times, but the writer should avoid going on for too long without a break. End that person's input with quotation marks, as usual)"

All three of these characters are talking about the same subject. Each character deserves the reader's full attention while saying their piece.

I would strongly suggest that you drop the idea that each paragraph should contain only four lines. A hard rule like that can result in a visually repetitive pattern to the reader's eyes, and may distract them from enjoying the story.

Just remember that no one can pick up a violin for the first time in their lives, (or even after months or maybe years of practice,) and expect to impress people at a concert. Keep seeking ways to improve your craft and practice, practice, practice.

(Edit)
 
Last edited:

Julesfuller

Active Member
These questions are best answered by a professional editor; better yet, a trained writing coach. Either of these options can cost a lot of money, so I understand if this is not a viable option for you.

Just reading your reply made my head spin. Though I understand that ignoring punctuation and capitalization, and crashing sentences together and such, is generally acceptable among people who frequent discord servers and online forums like this one, it does make the reader have to work much harder in figuring out the writer's message. In literature, especially fiction, the reader is looking for entertainment; a temporary escape from their day to day existence.

Everything you do, or don't do, that makes the reader work harder will add up, and will ultimately discourage the reader from finishing that story. As a writer, one should always practice making their prose easy on the eyes of the reader. This way you, the writer don't have to mentally shift gears between casual writing such as on discords, and the more formal writing that we've all seen in popular fiction. A good rule of thumb: If you read your prose aloud, exactly as the words and punctuation indicate one should, and it doesn't feel smooth and easy to your own ears, then you must rewrite it. Never assume that the reader will 'get what I meant anyway'. Writing is a form of storytelling; it must sound good when spoken.

Regarding multiple characters talking about one subject, think about it in terms of the reader physically being there and watching the scene:

Person A speaks, and the reader turns their attention to that person. Person A is now the one subject of interest to the reader, "Talking about a specific model of car. . ." If person A has only a word or two to say, fine. The person has said their piece.

Now person B starts speaking, and now the reader is 'looking' to person B. Person B is now the next subject of interest, "Their opinion on the subject of that specific car. . ."

Person C has something to say. It turns out that they are explaining something in detail and have a whole lot to say. One very useful trick here, commonly utilized when transcribing interviews and such, allows for a new subject to be spoken by that same person: "Person C talks about that car. . .(no quotation marks at the end here signifies that Person C is not done talking)
(Still person C, but now they are talking about the engine specifications of that car)
"(quotation marks here, so reader knows that it's a quote, not narrative) Person C talks about that particular car's engine specifications. . . (this can be done any number of times, but the writer should avoid going on for too long without a break. End that person's input with quotation marks, as usual)"

All three of these characters are talking about the same subject. Each character deserves the reader's full attention while saying their piece.

I would strongly suggest that you drop the idea that each paragraph should contain only four lines. A hard rule like that can result in a visually repetitive pattern to the reader's eyes, and may distract them from enjoying the story.

Just remember that no one can pick up a violin for the first time in their lives, (or even after months or maybe years of practice,) and expect to impress people at a concert. Keep seeking ways to improve your craft and practice, practice, practice.

(Edit)
The reason that I got in that habit was that I was having trouble breaking up my paragraphs so that they were readable so now you're telling me I break it up too much where's the common medium if the longer paragraphs are in to avoid a repetitive feeling in the formatting of the story itself then how often is it okay to put a block of text I've seen where people put two words for somebody talkin and then move to the next paragraph and I think that is more of a script format than a story format not to mention to me that's overly distracting
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Then write your stories exactly the way you want to your audience will either accept it that way or not just remember that the reading audience will not have your follow-up explanations to work with what you write into the published work is all they have to go on any further explanation of why you did it that way is unavailable therefore inconsequential to their reading experience I don't claim to have all the answers and I'm not here to argue with you take the above free advice or don't hire a coach if you can afford it paid-for advice is often heeded better in any case because you put your hard-earned money down to get it I feel that I have given all the help that I can afford to give good luck

[Translated into traditional style text:]
Then write your stories exactly the way you want to. Your audience will either accept it that way, or not.

Just remember that the reading audience will not have your follow-up explanations to work with. What you write into the published work is all they have to go on; any further explanation of why you did it that way is unavailable, therefore inconsequential to their reading experience.

I don't claim to have all the answers, and I'm not here to argue with you. Take the above free advice, or don't. Hire a coach if you can afford it. Paid-for advice is often heeded better, in any case, because you put your hard-earned money down to get it. I feel that I have given all the help that I can afford to give. Good luck.
 

ConorHyena

From out of the rain.
The reason that I got in that habit was that I was having trouble breaking up my paragraphs so that they were readable so now you're telling me I break it up too much where's the common medium if the longer paragraphs are in to avoid a repetitive feeling in the formatting of the story itself then how often is it okay to put a block of text I've seen where people put two words for somebody talkin and then move to the next paragraph and I think that is more of a script format than a story format not to mention to me that's overly distracting
Formatting is an art.

There's no hard-and-fast rules obviously, and in the end it is your story - and only yours.
Everyone does it differently.

For instance I (and another writer I frequently work with) will always put a paragraph in during dialogues ->

Code:
"Hey" I said "Weather's pretty cool today right?"


"Yeah" You answer "I'm freezing!"

For the simple reason that you can leave the 'x said' 'y answered' 'x went again' out from time to time to prevent it from being overly repetitive.
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
There's a lot of information overload within the first paragraph that honestly turned me off from reading beyond it.
Looking into more books that write the first-person style fluidly might help you get the format down.
An example I wrote out of boredom wouldn't be the best, but it might be helpful...



From this small conversation snippet you get the following...

1. The location - Lestaia; a city of sorts, and from the sounds of it not a very good one judging from the use of words like "gutter mud" to express it's charms
2. The situation - Our character is in this city not by choice but by circumstance; per the sentence "Lestaia isn't a city anyone would want to stay in for long..."
3. The struggle - Our character is dealing with a shift in work; but by that we know our character has a job, and it's relatively boring based on "So instead you wake up, go to your meaningless desk job,"
4. The duo - Our duo is revealed by the very next sentence here, maintaining fluidity; "sip some coffee, and pretend that there isn't a parasite feeding off of your insane caffeine addiction." and their relationship is more fortified below with the "Acknowledging her beyond her protocol was like talking to a doll with a specific set of lines."
5. The Personality - Based on all of the above, the character can be seen as rather pessimistic and aloof
6. The Time - Based on the line "So were dogs, when they still existed that is." we can assume this is either a distant future or near-distant future

So wrapped up in one paragraph we have...



All we're missing is a few names and background but that can always be added later. The important part is conveying information quickly and concisely within an in-universe format that still maintains a sense of natural fluidity can be hard, and mine is nowhere near perfect. I haven't even started editing it let alone finished the story, but the start is important and finding a way to hint at things you can build up later is key to both immersion and plot.

For example, taking your first paragraph...



We could turn it into...



From this we get...

1. The main character is an overthinker
2. The main character prefers self-publishing; and may have an ego because of it
3. In spite of his ego he's still cautious and prefers to keep to himself over being in the crowd
4. He doesn't get a lot of money from his writing (right now, anyhow)
5. He's often mistaken for being under the drinking age - which means he is of drinking age, but looks under 25 putting his age range between 18 - 23
6. He slouches
7. Maybe social situations give him headaches?


And so on.

This was just an example though, I don't know your characters so please treat this as just example materials and nothing more. :3

You could also review some of this...

1. 7 Tips for First Person Narratives
2. Writing in First Person: 4 Tips and 6 Pitfalls
3. One Quick Tip for Effective First Person Writing
4. A video on first person writing by an Author
5. Another video on first person writing by an Author


Hope the above helps some!
I neglected to comment on this before. This is a very well thought out and informative reply. Nicely done!
 
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