A Place of Safety
I expect simple behaviours here. Friendship, and love.
Any advice should be from the perspective of the person asking, not the person giving!
We have had to make new membership moderated to combat the huge number of spammers who register
















You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > Literary Merit > Knots, by Elias Scott
Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #70571] Tue, 24 November 2015 19:13 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13454



Knots starts out as a slow burn coming of age tale. As you can all see, it changes into something else, something dark. There is a brooding menace gathering, I've linked to Elias's index page, because there is more, more, and more.

For those who only read complete tales, each book stands alone, but requires the previous volumes first, if you follow me. Each has a start and a finish.

There is much more coming. Much more. 

[Updated on: Tue, 24 November 2015 19:25]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71187 is a reply to message #70571] Sat, 05 March 2016 10:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13454



Perhaps you would all help me and Elias out. Knots has a loyal core readership, or so the readership stats tell us, but that core is smaller than is usual. What is it about the tale that makes you continue, if you are, or has made you stop if you have?

[Updated on: Sat, 05 March 2016 10:47]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71200 is a reply to message #71187] Mon, 07 March 2016 01:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
WestcliffWriter is currently offline  WestcliffWriter   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: May 2015
Messages: 74




I haven't read it, admittedly, however what I have found is that from the sequels I have written I lose about 10% of the readership for every installment released. It is a phenomenon that baffles me, but there it is. People might read a story and not return to the site. Their non return may be because they are not aware a new story exists, or they may feel the story has run out of steam. I suffered a lot with For Everything You Were after For Everything You Are because of the way the first story ended. People assumed that EJ would not be in it and were put off. I'd say from story 1 to story 2 I lost about 40% of readers I thought would return.

They Didn't! 

I also think it depends on the time of year for some readers. As I look at my own stats there is a gentle increase over winter and then readership falls over the summer months. Therefore, a story I wrote in Winter will obviously do better than one I wrote in the summer. Perhaps Knots part X is suffering the same fate.

These are of course all theories and I have nothing to back any of it up with. My only piece of advice to Elias would be that as I have matured as a writer the hit count becomes less important. Although I enjoy feedback good and bad, I write for me mostly, and fuck anyone who doesn't like what I write. lol

[Updated on: Mon, 07 March 2016 01:10]

Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71202 is a reply to message #71200] Mon, 07 March 2016 11:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nigel is currently offline  Nigel   United Kingdom

On fire!
Location: England
Registered: November 2003
Messages: 1756



I think one difficulty is that we are spoilt for choice.  I have my reading restricted because I lead a very busy life (in retirement lol!) and when I am not otherwise busy, I am writing.  Just a thought.
Hugs
Nigel



I dream of boys with big bulges in their trousers,
Never of girls with big bulges in their blouses.

…and look forward to meeting you in Cóito.
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71205 is a reply to message #71202] Mon, 07 March 2016 16:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13454



"Nigel wrote on Mon, 07 March 2016 11:59"
I think one difficulty is that we are spoilt for choice.  I have my reading restricted because I lead a very busy life (in retirement lol!) and when I am not otherwise busy, I am writing.  Just a thought.
Hugs
Nigel

--
Except that the stats show certain places where there is sudden drop-off, I would agree with you. I am leaving Elias to correlate that with plot elements to see if there is an obvious cause. I have wondered whether the story's handling (at all, I mean) of the abuse and rape of under age boys as a serious rather than titillating topic might be the root cause.

If it is the cause then that is good, because it means that only those whose thinking will be affected are likely to read further.

We have a general decline in readership as the story moves ahead. That is true of all written work longer than flash fiction, but is measurable with a serial on a web site.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71215 is a reply to message #70571] Wed, 09 March 2016 18:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elias Scott is currently offline  Elias Scott   United States

Getting started
Location: United States
Registered: February 2016
Messages: 2



I would love to get feedback from readers of Knots.  I'm looking for both positive as well as negative comments.  Tim has pointed out that some people quit reading after chapter 3 or even after chapter 1.  Most finish chapter 1.  Readers may never know that they've missed a good story that is at times both funny and sad and ends with a real act of love. If you started to read Knots and then stopped, please let me know why.  My goal is to become a better writer and any feedback will be greatly appreciated.  I'd like to publish this as a main stream gay novel, but would tone down the sex scenes. 

My goal in Knots was to portray two boys who are unsure of their sexuality and in the process of coping with puberty and their teenage years, tie some knots and head into some dark territory.  I know readers are often disappointed in them, but disappointment usually means a reader cares about the characters.  We all love romance and I was tempted to write this as a romance novel and I suppose it is because it goes from Knots, Book 1 to Knots, Book 6.  This makes it a little like a soap opera.  Things happen and the resolution is slow in coming.  Because of this, the reader has to wait until the series ends to find out if Matt and Andy live happily ever after.  

Again, please give me your feedback.   Thanksk!

Elias
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71216 is a reply to message #71202] Wed, 09 March 2016 18:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elias Scott is currently offline  Elias Scott   United States

Getting started
Location: United States
Registered: February 2016
Messages: 2



Good point.  I write a lot and don't always have time for reading myself.  I have finally decided to download the documents and have my phone read the story to me.  This way I can read things I might not otherwise get around to reading.

Thanks for commenting. 

Elias
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71224 is a reply to message #71205] Thu, 10 March 2016 14:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nick Deverill is currently offline  Nick Deverill   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water

Registered: November 2012
Messages: 78



"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Mon, 07 March 2016 16:47
We have a general decline in readership as the story moves ahead. That is true of all written work longer than flash fiction, but is measurable with a serial on a web site.

There is a simple reason for this. Most of us will read anything new, but whilst reading chapter one, you form an opinion of whether you want to read more.

[Updated on: Thu, 10 March 2016 14:27]

Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71225 is a reply to message #71224] Thu, 10 March 2016 16:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13454



"Nick "

"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Mon, 07 March 2016 16:47
We have a general decline in readership as the story moves ahead. That is true of all written work longer than flash fiction, but is measurable with a serial on a web site.

There is a simple reason for this. Most of us will read anything new, but whilst reading chapter one, you form an opinion of whether you want to read more.

--
The point you make speaks well to a drop off after chapter 1, and may also address certain very particular points where the tale loses some audience members. I don't think it addresses the general drop off, which is a thing we expect with any serial.

I agree most certainly that a story has to catch me in chapter 1. I see many more submissions than make the cut here. Knots caught my attention in chapter 1. After starting to read it I have found that there are points in it that require 'reader loyalty'. It is a saga of introduction, lost innocence, stupid and good decisions, and presumed eventual redemption, but spanning half a dozen books. I have chosen not to read further ahead elsewhere than the chapters Elias sends me. I am thus marginally ahead of you all, but not much.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71227 is a reply to message #71225] Fri, 11 March 2016 04:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr   United States

Likes it here
Location: the burning former USofA
Registered: July 2010
Messages: 399



I had to check to make sure, but yeah, I remember reading book one last year. I think I can speak from experience that the 'scene changes' from one character to another is often quite trying for many readers. When I've done that I have been given strong feedback about it. The times I have read stories like that I find the story harder to follow and sometimes confusing myself. Many readers settle into a mindset as they read, (I do this very much) and they have to change that mindset when the character telling the story changes, and that leaves them feeling thrown around and lost. Because I do a kind of deep empathy as I read, I feel that 'scene change' and character change a great deal. Sometimes in Knots the change comes at what feels the completely wrong time and it irrites me.
Knots is a good story, and I like it, but for me, changing of the narrator so often, especially within a chapter, and when it happens more than once, makes the story seem thick and heavy. It weighs down the narrative even when the story is light in content. It's like wearing wet clothing. LOL
Maybe this is the source of some of the readership drop-off. Other than that, the story is really good. The characters are loveable/despicable and real enough to want to follow. The changes of self-image the characters have of themselves is a rarity in gay fiction and a real plus in this story. They see themselves differently even when they realize something mundane or normal, which is a real enough occurrence. When they come to a new understanding of something about themselves or another character and that changes the way they see themselves or the other character it is a larger alteration, which is as it should be, and that also makes this story very dynamic and realistic.
I did notice and remember the almost complete lack of any descriptions of surroundings, scene settings so to speak. There is nearly nothing to set the scenes, no idea what is around the characters. Plenty of stories are like that, so it's not something that needs changed or anything, just something I noticed. I mention it because I've often heard from readers that they really like the way I described a scene setting, as it drew them deeper into the story, and I've been working on that part of my own writing lately. But Knots doesn't need that, as it treads lightly with the scene details but fills in with the emotional and cognitive details.

[Updated on: Fri, 11 March 2016 04:12]




raysstories.com
Re: Knots, by Elias Scott  [message #71228 is a reply to message #71215] Fri, 11 March 2016 05:09 Go to previous message
ChrisR is currently offline  ChrisR   United States

Likes it here
Location: Western US
Registered: October 2014
Messages: 136



Howdy, Elias -

I've read a good chunk of your Book One so I feel reasonably comfortable in offering some comments as you've requested. I've found your story to be a good one thus far, and hope to see lots more in the chapters ahead.

Your question, however, is why people might drop out after a bit. I can try to offer some thoughts, but they're strictly mine and shouldn't be considered reflective of anybody else.

For starters, your work is a bit, well, intimidating. There are 4 books displayed now, with 2 more evidently to come - well over a hundred chapters in all. To sustain a reader, each and every chapter had better be the caliber of Harry Potter or Aubrey-Maturin. A momentary loss of momentum and it's easy for the reader to simply quit and fetch some short stories.

You do state that each book is self contained though it requires reading the prior books to fully understand the story. But you've chosen not to name each book, so there's no clue to the reader what the progression might be.

The characters are good and entertaining, though the friendships seem a bit strained at times with instant recovery. Beyond the leads, however, it seems rather one-dimensional. Other characters have so far been only walk-ons with little impact on the movement forward. Perhaps their importance will be obvious later but up to now they've been scenery passed and forgotten.

Lots is written about 'point of view' in stories. You've done a good job of telling us who is speaking, but it can nonetheless be confusing. Which of the two girls is speaking about which of the two boys at any given moment? I've had to back up a few times.

Most of all, of course, is a question of storyline. The first book basic story is good, but not really moving along. There's a lot of chest-rubbing going on, staring at abs, and despairing of not having any, that doesn't really progress the story. The kids are equally jealous of each other and scared to do anything. I got it. Now move along.

Don't get me wrong - I'm reading and enjoying the story. I am NOT suggesting a nifty-esque wham-bam-thank-you-man sex scene in every paragraph. Just the opposite, I prefer tales told very NON-explicitly. But character development is crucial to my deciding if this is indeed worth continuing.

Just my two bits.

Chris
Previous Topic: Seeking Editor
Next Topic: Need a little help with something
Goto Forum: