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  • Feedback would mean the world to me

    Posted by sibongile.makuza on 2 April 2020 at 18:47

    Hi guys, I’m Sibo Makuza. Been editing my novel and I’d highly appreciate feedback for the prologue. If you take the time to read this, thank you so much. 

    And I appreciate honesty.  

    sibongile.makuza replied 3 years, 11 months ago 5 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Rick Yagodich

    2 April 2020 at 20:08

    This is a difficult one to provide feedback on.

    The positive: the voice you’ve managed to capture, that torrential overload of chatter, interspersing serious, meaningful news with capracious personal opinion. It’s surprisingly entertaining.

    The negative: … I think the best way to say this is to recommend you file this prologue as backstory to your own worldbuild and never expose the reader to it. That kind of news chatter might work as a per-chapter epigraph, kept to no more than one paragraph each (3-4 lines – absolute max). Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a telling infodump.

    The last paragraph reads a bit like back cover blurb. Yes, those are the questions, but they’re not questiosn you need to tell the reader to ask. If the reader is smart enough to handle your book, you must assume they are smart enough to figure the questions out for themselves, too.

    • sibongile.makuza

      2 April 2020 at 20:54

      Firstly, thank you so much! I highly appreciate you taking the time to read and give feedback!

      I get your about the last paragraph, I’ll edit that, thank you.

      However, the rest of the book actually takes place on Earth, the prologue is more of a backstory to the main character (the baby princess) rather than worldbuild. 

      Thank you so much for the feedback!

  • cathy.carroll-moriarty

    2 April 2020 at 20:54

    Thank you for sharing your work. Clever use of news media, especially since we now live in a culture where facts/opinions are presented interchangeably in the news and on social media; I think readers would relate to this. But, I agree with Rick that the way it is presented right now, it reads as “information dump” or even a synopsis (which may work to your advantage down the road!) All telling, no showing. Nothing wrong with telling, of course, but in this case, there is no emotional connection to the events noted in the news reports. So it didn’t pull me in or make me “care” about the events. The story is an interesting one, just needs an emotional hook a little sooner in the narrative.

    • sibongile.makuza

      2 April 2020 at 21:02

      Thank you so much for the feedback!

      I totally understand, will work in that

      Thank you!

  • Laure Van Rensburg

    3 April 2020 at 09:10

    Hi Sibo, thanks for sharing your prologue!

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with the others and say this comes across as an info dump disguised as a prologue. On the positive side it looks like you have done some great world building.

    On a side note regarding the sentence “Princess Spark has been pronounced terminally ill” someone please correct if I’m wrong but I believe you are pronounced dead and you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. I don’t believe you can be pronounced terminally ill.

    I hope this helps!


    3 April 2020 at 22:05

    Hey Sibo, thanks for sharing your prologue here. It sounds like you have loads of creative ideas, intriguing characters, and an explosive start to your story.

    I agree with other comments above that this piece sounds more like backstory, world building, back cover blurb or synopsis. But that’s perfectly ok! It’s all part of the process of bringing a story into the world. I suggest you keep writing and see where it takes you.

    A couple of years ago I listened to an interview with Ursula Le Guin, and I remember her saying that in many books the first 100 pages sound as if the writer is “getting into the story and should be skipped.”

    Still those pages are important. They have to be written so the writer can  get into their story. We have to accept that not everything we write ends up in the final book. But everything you write will make it a better book in the end.

    • Rick Yagodich

      3 April 2020 at 22:45

      As an example of that – to show that we’re not advising something we don’t do ourselves – for my current work in progress, I have a working file that runs to almost 55,000 words. And it’s not yet complete (I expect it to top out around 85k).

      I can assure you that not a single word from that file – at least not in that format – will make it into the final manuscript.

      Oh, and that’s on the back of having already written it twice, end to end, (as in complete rewrite, not write and edit). And none of those versions will be in there either.

      So, 390k words “flushed”. But the end result will be worth it.

  • sibongile.makuza

    4 April 2020 at 08:16

    Thank you guys all so much for the feedback!! 

    I’ve taken into account everything you’ve said, I’ll be editing soon, so THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!