August 3rd, 2012, 01:36 AM
Looking for Feedback: Rosaria Of Venice
Hello! I have been testing out a story I really want to tell on a Tumblr blog. It chronicles the adventures of Rosaria Adalberto, a scientist and noblewoman in a steampunk version of the Italian Renaissance. I am interested in seeing what some fresh eyes (that is, people I do not know) react.
While I am mostly looking for feedback on the story, I also welcome any comments on the format and the blog itself. I am new to Tumblr and have not figured out all of the odds and ends, so I really could use comments and suggestions on how I can improve the reading experience as well.
The Tumblr is here: rosariaofvenice.tumblr.com
Since my content is on a blog, I am not sure if this thread is supposed to be in Promotions or not. I figured that since this is still a prototype and I am looking for feedback, that this would be the right place. If I am wrong, I apologize for the inconvenience.
In any case, pleased to meet you all, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
August 3rd, 2012, 04:08 PM
I'd love to give your story a look, but the site is blocked for me. (I live in the boonies and have to use the local library.)
Maybe you can repost it in the stories section.
August 3rd, 2012, 04:37 PM
it could be worse
I don't have much time at the moment (and I hate reading online, love reading on my iPhone, but not on the computer screen, go figure), but I read a few paragraphs of the latest post - great stuff. Well written and gripping. You are doing great. Keep of the good work!
I'd be interested in the final version in ebook format, please.
August 4th, 2012, 07:46 AM
I went to a coffeshop and the site wasn't blocked. I copied your story and will give it a read this weekend and I should be able to post something monday or tuesday.
August 4th, 2012, 04:49 PM
tmso - Thank you! If you get some time to read more, I'd love to hear what you think of the rest. Any suggestions for improvement are more than welcome. I am also looking to see, when it works for people, what about it works and why.
I have some future plans for this story, though I hadn't thought much about ebooks. I'll see what I can do.
JimF - I am glad you finally got it working. By the "stories" section you mean the "Collaborative Stories" forum, correct? If other people have the same issues you had it would behoove me to take your advice and post the material there as well. Regardless, I am looking forward to your comments!
August 5th, 2012, 08:13 AM
I mean the Stories sub forum, which is a sub of this writing forum. Only registered members can view it. you can see the link for it at the top of the Witing forum. The collaborative stories forum is not the one i mean, it is seperate from the writing forum.
August 5th, 2012, 09:25 PM
Oh, okay. I see that now. Thank you!
August 6th, 2012, 07:51 AM
I got around to reading your story last night and generally I liked it. I do have a few issues.
1st I hate reading stories on the web, so I copied the text to a word processor. also I started reading it from the end first. (the dates should have been my clue) would you consider rather than publishing as a blog, a site like smashwords where you can convert your text to a number of ebook formats?
on with the text... This is written as a journal or series of letters but I didn't think it read like that sometimes. one issue with this format is that it reduces a certain amount of jeopardy your character faces if we know she lived to write letters about it.
I am not the biggest expert on 15th C Italian Renascence but I am fairly certain the did not use words like Miss, Ma'am and Auntie. I understand that some colloquial language is needed, but I found the words like those listed are jarring and took me out of the story. There are some other words like detective that jarred me a little. It is a 19th century word and not a 15th.
Another issue I have with the letter format is you spread one scene over two letters, From Aug 1 to the 2nd. The transition was awkward. Did the events happen over midnight or is the protagonist writing the letters at a much later date?
I like having the heroine an anachronistic scientist/noble woman good with a rapier, but after all the build up on her proficiency at best all the men who dared cross swords with her, she gets taken down rather easily.
I also like the intrigue with the mysterious cube but thought that started too late in the story. It is the real thing that would draw her in, I'm sure she would have fallen for the merchant's story. Maybe if he offered her some fragment of the cube with odd properties to investigate.
I hope you found my comments helpful. these are just a few quick thoughts. and I am by no means a steam punk expert.
August 13th, 2012, 10:31 PM
Jim, thanks for your comments! I'm not familiar with smashwords, but I am indeed considering something other than blog format given the complaints I have heard about reading online. I will look into that right away.
I agree with you on establishing Rosaria's proficiency. I will make sure to address this in future versions.
Rosaria is writing this from a later date, though in future versions I may abandon the journal format, which may help with the suspense issues you mention later in your critique. I would like to maintain a first-person perspective because I like writing in her voice, however if it is not explicitly a journal that should still increase the suspense, and open up new narrative possibilities. And you are correct: it does not read exactly like a journal, and perhaps I should embrace that.
My incorporation of Italian/Venetian is haphazard at best, I do admit. I have used the English familial words and gendered titles "Mr." and "Miss" as I do not know Italian and haven't the time to learn it. However, given that I use "ser" in its proper form, it may behoove me to do some more research on Venetian language conventions and incorporate it into the text. I imagine it would serve to make it feel more authentically Renaissance, so thank you for pointing that out.
I am also looking into the iBooks publisher app, as I would like to incorporate some illustrations into the eBook and I hear iBooks is very good with visuals. Do you (or does anyone else) have any experience with the app, the medium, or other eBook formats with respect to visuals?