Reviews Wanted!

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Taylor Clogston 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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    Taylor Clogston

    Hey everyone. In 2017, I was babbling with a friend on the ride to our weekly Dungeons and Dragons game about an idea I had for a serial story. Basically, I wanted to write episodes that would take about twenty minutes to read in twenty-six episode “seasons,” for an audience (from an author) who enjoys both fantasy books and actiony anime.

    My friend encouraged me to write that thing, and helped me grind to the point where I did in fact have one 10,000 word short story. After getting some advice from a writing group, I expanded that short story to a 30,000 word novella, and self published it as “The Black Librarian Archives: Part One.”

    Quite a long time passed. BLA had been my first foray into writing since graduating high school and getting a factory job. As a result, I was rusty and anyway didn’t know anything in high school to begin with.

    With all that I’ve learned over the last couple years, I have done what I can to salvage my novella. As of last night, it has a new cover, a new title, 30% more content, sixteen fewer grammatical errors, and a more active protagonist.

    His dark cloak billowed in waves that ended in a cascade of tattered threads, and the pages of the great leather book in his hand fluttered like the wings of a pale moth … He was the man from the boy’s recent dreaming, but the boy was not asleep. -The Silver Shard

    Ten years ago, a mage rescued Dan from burning London, and drew him into a world full of spirits, magic, and burgeoning industry.

    Now Dan is sixteen. He longs to leave his quiet village and follow his savior’s path.

    Dan yearns to become a Librarian mage.

    So Dan travels to Ormuil, the city of wizards, where the University of all guilds awaits.

    But this city holds dark secrets, ones that Dan’s new friends in the Treasure Hunting Club know all too well.

    And when the Club adventures into the Silver Dungeon Shard, Dan‘s own dark secret may not be enough to save them.

    If you love stories about family, war, and justice, you will love this first installment of The Black Librarian Archives.

    If that appeals to you, and you would be willing to help me out, I am in desperate need of Amazon reviews and Goodreads reviews. Content warning: A bit of mild language, some fantasy violence, one instance of pretty horrible violence but the camera doesn’t leer at it. No sexual content.

    Here is a folder containing mobi, epub, and PDF of the novella. Thank you so much!


    Daeus Lamb

    @taylorclogston Never really explored D&D or anime, so no idea if this would be my thing, but I’m willing to read a little bit and see if it appeals to me. If it does, I’ll leave a review.

    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢


    Taylor Clogston

    @daeus-lamb Thank you very much. I definitely won’t be offended if it doesn’t end up being your thing =P





    Just started reading a few pages, so I might have to read further ahead to find out- but do the made-up-books come back later? The first thing I thought of when I read the book about knots was “Okay, so there’s probably going to be someone using a magic system that uses knots in rope as a spellcasting focus.”

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Coggleton.

    Karla Van Der Berg

      I’ll give it a shot, this seems to be like my sort of thing! However I hope it’s okay that I am honest, I am the kind of person who wants people to honestly critique my work so I kind of expect everybody wants the same from me.


      Taylor Clogston

      @coggleton If I were a good structurist, the books would be important later =P I really want to do a knot magic system in the future now, thanks for the idea. Since there’s a bunch of theory and even some notation styles for knots, I think it could make for a replacement for the standard “draw a magic circle with runes” stuff you see everywhere. And of course thanks for reading!

      @blueberry I’d expect nothing less than honest critique! Thanks a bunch :-}


      Taylor Clogston

      @daeus-lamb @coggleton @blueberry

      Not to be too presumptuous, but are any of you planning on leaving reviews, or did I lose your interest? =P


      Karla Van Der Berg

        Nah, I just have been busy doing various things to promote my own work. ^_^’

        I definitely still plan to read it! 🙂




        I unfortunately got behind on that and some other stuff. But I can say I’ve got through to chapter three!

        A thing I’m interested in is, who’s the wizard at the beginning? It’d be nice if we got some breadcrumbs as to who he is, how he knew Dan, if he served as a mentor figure beyond that initial encounter, and the impression he had on Dan that caused him to want to be a librarian. Was it because the guy was an unsung paragon of heroism? Consistent kindness?

        One thing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on until recently is that it seems like there’s not really any relational conflict. Yes, there are people who initially oppose his goals, but it seems like they get swayed over to being his enthusiastic allies within 5 pages. One idea I can think of is to make things more complicated for him by giving him people who aren’t going to be as bowled over. The idea that I find intriguing, however, is that you grab the ball and run with it. Here are some target areas that you might find useful:

        – Why is he so darn charismatic that complete strangers seek to go from ignoring him to aiding him? Does the dog secretly provide him with (to put it in DND terms) a +10 to his charisma score? If so, what happens when the dog is hindered/incapacitated?

        – Who takes notice of this? Does the big bad/ take notice of this and start trying to coerce Dan into using his charisma to fuel his unsavory schemes/fulfill political ambitions/a government agent tries to pressgang Dan into assisting with their diplomacy by magically persuading uncooperative entities to be more favorable?

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Coggleton.

        Taylor Clogston

        @blueberry Thank you! I’m probably going to continue bugging you about it =P

        @coggleton Thanks for reading as far as you have! And thanks for the critique, though I’m not at a point where I’m continuing to edit the story details, and am on to the second book. I know the first one has flaws (and sometimes major ones), and I’ve spent too much time already trying to iron out what I can without radically changing the whole thing many people have already read, and instead trying to make the next part of it a proper story from the beginning.

        Definitely not going in the direction of “Dan the charismatic leader everyone follows,” but I can imagine an alternate story where that could be funny.

        That said, I’ve updated the folder with versions of the documents that fix some little single-line plot holes and a couple more typos =P

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