After some deliberation, I've decided that yeah, I'm probably not going to be re-opening this.
But before the thread goes to gather dust, there are some things I wanna say regarding something I've seen on the forum that made me kind of upset. Without going into details, the implication was that reviewing someone's first X chapters was "underhanded" and not necessarily a reflection of the creator's current talents. While I can understand the latter, the former definitely rubbed me the wrong way.
Yet, even with the former, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- The first few chapters are how new readers will judge your work. No matter how much you've improved down the line, if the readers do not have the incentive to stick around, they'll never get to that point or be willing to go along with that journey of improvement with you. As the medium of the webnovel evolves, so will its standards. Gathering a new audience, as a result, becomes more and more difficult if the first bulk of the story can use improvement.
- There are writers whose works are still in early stages and benefit from having a few of their first chapters read -- because those few chapters is all there is so far. To be honest, when I first started this thread, I assumed that's where most of the influx would come from. I was about 60% correct in that assumption.
- There are writers who explicitly want feedback on the revision of their first few chapters.
- If the creator does not want to have their first few chapters reviewed because they do not believe it is a reflection of their current skill, they need not submit their request to have their first few chapters reviewed.
I mean, look, at the end of the day, there's obviously a lot more history to the webnovel/webcomic community -- be it here or on Wattpad, and I've come to understand there's a fair bit about it I just don't understand. For all I know, there was someone that did this exact same thing, and did something that made this an overall bad idea to do. If this really was in some way "underhanded", if my criticism was too harsh at times, if the whole thing was misguided in any way, I sincerely apologize. I really do.
As a closing note, I'll say that in reviewing these 20-ish works, there were works I definitely liked, and works I very clearly did not. However, at the end of the day, I recognize the spark and passion in all of you, and I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your current and future works. I know what it's like to be one among thousands, I know what it's like to want to make art. Not only that -- art that people will look at and love. And I know what it's like to want to keep pushing yourself to do even better and go in paths others haven't explored. In the end, I can only really hope that, regardless of what you thought of the feedback, you know that isn't a part that needs to be fixed or adjusted.