Feedback for Flipside
I read the first ten episodes of Flipside. It was not as much of a commitment as it sounds as these chapters were short and easy to digest. As I heard one reviewer say it on the Read It and Weep podcast, “This was a breezy [two hours].” I would have done this sooner, but I've been busy editing a different Tapas novel, and that other book needs a loooooot of work.
Okay, the questions posed here are very broad, so I'll stop at 10 episodes and attempt to answer the questions with what I did read instead of pushing through.
- In what ways could technique be improved (setting & dialog)
Well, there is a lot of personal preference involved in this question, but I'll give it a shot. From a technical point of view, there was one particular piece of dialog in which a character was speaking, but I didn't know who was talking until the end of the paragraph. That is okay if you have only two characters talking to each other, but it gets a little difficult to read with more characters. It can be solved by simply moving FRITZ SAID from the back to the front.
The initial setting is quite mundane for the first three or so chapters, but I think that was done on purpose. There is a clear point in which your protag transitions into the second setting, and the second setting is supposed to stand out. It's a little underwhelming to see that the first impression of the second setting is just a bare and mostly empty room, but maybe this is a genre conceit; even Alice had to get outside before flowers began talking to her. I would have liked to have seen some of those glowing leaves a little earlier, maybe through a big window in the initial room. Maybe not, personal preferences…
Overall, I thought the dialog did an adequate job of establishing the voices and personas of the various characters. This is especially true of Shorty.
Overall, I think the setting is not particularly unique for a portal story, but I am still fairly early in the story. I did like how you foreshadowed the weirdness slightly with the vanishing book text before the transition occurred.
- Did I find any element of the story particularly interesting?
Yes, it's all about Shorty. She's a fascinating character and very untypical for genre. Instead of being an Alice or Dorothy attempting to instill logic and manners into a chaotic world, Shorty is the disorder and impulsiveness interjecting into a stable world. She was completely believable and slightly sympathetic even though her actions and intentions are thoroughly immature if not downright evil.
- What is the best and world element?
That preface is kind of a mess. I get it. It's supposed to just be an attention grabber and not establish anything in particular. It's a Chapter Zero. It's still problematic for me. It just sets up a lot of questions which don't get answered anywhere in the extent that I have read. It's a lot of remember going forward if any of it is relevant (and I'm sure of it will be). If it were me being the meanie editor that I am, I would cut out that entire preface and build from the first chapter. I am reminded of Firefly in which I first watched the 2nd episode of the series, “The Train Job,” and actually preferred it as an introduction to the pilot episode, “Serenity.”