|Hello anujmathur Thank you for the review request. I hope you find some comments helpful.
Initial Thoughts: Nice story description. It made me think of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Strengths: Plot Flow, Ambiance, Speed- nothing bogs down plot flow, World-building - this new world opens up after we get interested not before
Weaknesses: Scene settings, Speed- conflict is a part of plot flow, there are conflicts when Vik fails to get what he wants, but the dialogue-only scenes skips past them
Ending Thoughts: I liked it, definite page turner, but the POV flips near the end of the chapter threw me off
This story begins in the third person-omniscient point of view, simple past tense. As the story picks up, it's clear that Vik is the main focus, meaning that the story really isn't third person-omniscient but third person-limited. The first sentence throws us off; see Line-by-Line
Vik's happy-go-lucky attitude seeps into the pages. It's awesome. We have a vested interest in his success but know in the back of our minds that he's going to crash and burn. We can;t wait to see it happen and if it crushes his dreams or not. Well done.
Our opening scene location is implied with good dialogue. However, the reader must do a lot of work to "see" the implied restaurant. There are ways to give us more info without bogging down your dialogue. Is it crowded? are people squeezing between the two men as they talk. Does they have to shout at each other because the atmosphere is noisy, or maybe it's a high scale joint and the manager tries to shush our eager writer. Does the manager snap his fingers to summon burly men in three piece suits or does he yell for two beefcakes in too-small t-shirts stained with grease and beer? Just a hint or two, splashed in with the strong dialogue would help the reader "see."
Modes of transport from scene are easy to comprehend. There are some jumps from scene to scene, but they are easy for the reader to discern. The problem is whether or not you want to the reader using valuable processing power discerning how he got from point to point.
Initial Goal: This is a good bit of work here. You showed us Vik's ambitions, made him fail, forced him to assess the situation, and made his movements take him to the next goal. For some reason, a lot of us miss this important step.
Restaurant Manager(s) (Yes, both of them): I know, I know. He's only a bit character. But small character's need a little love too. We don't know what he looks like nor what his motivations are. We can get by with one or the other since his part is so small. Maybe the restaurant is crowded and he wants to get back to working with his real customers. Maybe he has a snobbish, upturned nose that he sticks in the air while talking to give the appearance of looking down at someone.
Vikram: Awesome name, great introductory dialogue that seeps with his wistful personality. (Very Arthur Dent-ish) The only thing missing is a history. What brought him to this scheme of making money as a writer (HA!)
Ceasar: We can't "see" him. He needs more love than the managers but gets less.
Morphy: Good work with this character. It seems as if he's more interesting than the main character
The Line by Line
...restaurant manager to the eager gentleman. Absolutely nothing wrong with this sentence, but leading off with the manager will make a reader think that his point of view is the one we should focus on.
“I’m afraid... I’m going!” Great dialogue sequence. The so-called experts might ding you on the lack of setting. We don't "see" much. It still worked for me as a reader though, and did a great job of pulling me into the story. Although, it would be nice to know if Arthur... I mean Vik was standing or sitting during the scene.
...one?” he asked... this reads like a repeat; the "he asked" is implied by the question mark.
...out!” screamed... Again, the ! implies screaming. It reads like a repeat because our brain already imagines him screaming.
As he walked away,... I loved this paragraph. I had tears in my eyes laughing at his big dreams. it seemed so- familiar to when I first put pen to paper. How hard could this be?
...saw a “Kitchen Help Wanted” sign on one such window. “Kitchen Help Wanted” it said. "They" will nit-pick about signs not being able to speak. Just trust your reviewer on this one.
“I hope... Time jumps are cool, but I suggest warning the reader in some way. Some people like to double the space between paragraphs. Some just say, "some time later...so and so did this..."
“I hope you have... The boiled egg bit was hilarious. The only suggestion I have for this part is to somehow convey his... his... honest earnestness somehow. Show the reader that he's actually serious with his answers.
"...him in.” the voice... What kind of voice? Help us see the invisible man behind the curtain... so to speak...
"...you’re unsuitable...” the manager was interrupted midway by a voice from behind the kitchen door.
”Send him in.” the a voice from behind the kitchen door interrupted said. This is an "order of events" thing. This suggestion will make the voice actually interrupt the manager, instead of the "narrator."
...a Chef's hat... This is the second time I've seen it. Why is the C capitalized?
...strode out towards... You meant "in" right? He's walking in the kitchen.
...see a man... What kind of man; short, stumpy, long, lean, muscled, chiseled, old, frail, impish, dwarfish, gigantic... I could do this all day, but you get my point, what's his first impression of this- man?
Vikram scrutinised the... I liked this paragraph. Many will hit you on the passive verbs used, but passive words are like salt; a little to taste is fine as long as it doesn't overpower the meal. I'm only pointing this out to warn you ahead of time. There's nothing wrong with this!
...he staff?” Vikram inquired... I'm not sure if the Queen spells that with an e or an i. I noticed you using the Queen's English throughout the story. Also, although this dialogue was great, we need to somehow link it to his initial mission. Perhaps the lack of staff makes him question the authenticity of this so-called chef... or Chef. Without that link, this is just filler material (Which it isn't, because it leads to the next action(s)).
CaesarVikram thought for a moment, decided....
Caesar heard the...This POV shift seems like you did it on purpose. If so, then we need something to break us from Vik to Caesar, making a double space, maybe those **** thingies. As a reader, I didn't really care for it. I like Vik, and wanted to experience things from his POV. I know nothing about Caesar, not even what he looks like.
...and waited patiently as...Another POV shift, this time to a character we've never seen before.
“It all started on... This was some good work, but the POV stuff before it made the work less powerful. I had to untangle that bit before realizing that Vik had control again and THEN get into this dialogue.