JOURNEY TO THE MIDWEST: First Chapter (Part 1)Echo's silver brocaded slippers touched down on the waiting cloud, followed by a slender wooden staff. For a moment, it looked as if the she was steering the cloud with the staff, but the illusion was broken by an explosion of motion. Slippers sparkled as the girl darted forward, jumped into the air, long golden hair streaming as she rolled into a somersault, the staff tucked under her arm. Echo sailed up and over the edge and landed on another cloud a short distance away. Three more somersaults from cloud to cloud and then a final jump took the girl plummeting down to land feet-first on the top of a Bodhi tree.
I thought that it was very well written. I was not overwhelmed with detail, but you gave just the right amount to be intrigued. The main character so far seems very genuine and simple. Like in how she doesn't give much thought to consequences and how purpose driven she is. I liked the way you set up the valley, it was very clearly painted as a light and magical place. The concern and agitation of her -I'm assuming- older insect friends was very cute and well described.
But I must say, even though you said you got inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, this is extremely similar to the very beginning of a Alice in Wonderland spin-off called The Looking Glass Wars. (Including her ability to transform herself and other things) I would suggest looking into that so as to avoid seeming like you copied the story and to retain originality.
Otherwise, I thought it was very good, it flowed very well and the narrative was very natural. It was not hard to picture myself in the forest with them observing the scene as it went on.
Thank you very much for the feedback! You really made my day.
I have not read The Looking Glass Wars. One of the primary inspirations for this is Journey to the West. I plan on revealing Princess Echo's (I have her name with the underscore because I might modify it, and I want to be able to use and find+replace without any collateral damage) after the first chapter. Her father is Sun Wu Kong and her mother is the Boddhisatva Guanyin, both central characters in Journey to the West. The staff, the Jade Emperor's peaches, the ability to transform...these are all direct references.
If you ever need a critique or a reader, please let me know.
Hidden by Owner
No, you didn't mention that. That's a simple, beautiful name. The Jade Emperor, and his wife, the Queen Mother of the West, are also both characters in Journey to the West. You should read it. There's a pdf english translation that is easily found through Google Search.