BETA Reading: Chapter One of "The Forgotten Swordsman"

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for taking part by being BETA readers for my book "The Forgotten Swordsman".

I have never had BETA or ARC readers before, and I admit I am new to the concept. I started publishing my work in 1992, and this particular project was originally written in 1997 and then revised in 2020-2021. I am currently revising it again, readying for publication and I crave feedback so that I can make improvements.

I am not familiar with how to organize BETA reading, so I apologize if my methods are unusual or unorthodox. This is my first time doing this.

I am going to start by asking: What do you think of the title "The Forgotten Swordsman"? What does it make you think of? Would you give the title a thumbs up or thumbs down? Why do you like it or dislike the title?

Next I have the first chapter, which you can read by visiting Google Docs at the following URL:

LINK FOR CHAPTER ONE OF "The Forgotten Swordsman"

You can post comments and reactions via the Suggestion Mode on the Google Document, but I also have a number of questions that you can respond to via email. These questions are OPTIONAL. You don't have to answer them if you don't want to or don't have the time.

What do you think of the first chapter?

What do you like or dislike about it?

Do you want more descriptive details, less or do you feel it is the goldilocks amount already?

Having read it, would you want to keep reading or have you changed your mind?

I appreciate everyone's honest responses and both positive and negative feedback is useful to me in order to make improvements.

If you wish to discontinue / "unvolunteer" just let me know and there's no hard feelings. I have 3 jobs, 2 kids, a wife and leukemia, so I am fully aware of what it is like to be too busy and when life decides to get in the way.

If you wish to continue I can give you access to a larger section of the novel so that you can read and provide feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you available for a manuscript swap?

No, sorry. I don't have a lot of time available, but I do really appreciate everyone who volunteers to help out by being BETA readers and providing feedback so that I can make improvements to my work.

Are you willing to pay for BETA reading services?

No, sorry. Not interested. Thanks for your time however.

Is there a way that we BETA readers can discuss your work?

Sure, I recommend using Twitter/Threads/Instagam and the hashtags #ForgottenSwordsman and/or #CharlesMoffat to communicate with other readers.

Do you speak any Russian or Ukrainian?

Yes, actually I am currently learning both Russian and Ukrainian (and Romanian). I do a lot of research when writing my books, and learning the languages, the culture, the food, etc is part of how I immerse myself in the writing process.

Are you aware that there is currently a war going on in Ukraine?

Yes, I am very much aware of this. I am not writing my books in a vacuum. My writing is heavily influenced by historical events.

I saw you are also looking for ARC readers?

Yes, this is correct. I am also looking for ARC readers who can read the finished product when the book is finished and ready to publish. If you wish to be an ARC reader please let me know.

What is Peasant Magazine?

Peasant Magazine is a fantasy / historical fiction magazine that I run in my spare time that publishes short stories. It is published infrequently whenever I find the time. I use the email address for the magazine correspondence and also for my writing career.

Do you have other books or short stories we can check out?

Yes, of course. You can download the free PDF versions of Peasant Magazine, which contain samples of my work and the work of other writers. You can find my other books at Some of my ebook short stories are also periodically free too.

If you have additional questions or comments feel free to do so.

Thank you everyone for your time and I look forward to reading your responses to my work!

Charles Moffat


Marvel Fatigue

When was the last time you went to the movie theatre to see a Marvel film?

I admit that, for me at least, it has been a while...

From Iron Man in 2008 until Avengers: Endgame in 2019 I went to see every single Marvel film that was released. 22 films in total.

But after that, I will admit, I kind of got bored.

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • Black Widow (2021) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  • Eternals (2021) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • The Marvels (2023) - Didn't bother to see in the theatre.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

So of the 11 films that came out after Endgame myself (and my wife) only went to movie theatres to see 3 of them. 3 out of 11. If that isn't a sign of Marvel Fatigue, I don't know what is.

Oh... And there's the Venom and Deadpool films. Didn't bother to go see any of those either.

Now my wife and I did eventually see all of these films, thanks to Disney+ / etc, but we had no interest in going to see many of these films in the theatre.

Now you might think: "Oh, many of these films were during the pandemic, so maybe that is why."

Nope, not an issue, because as you will note we still went to see Shang-Chi and that was during the pandemic. And even after the pandemic was over we still didn't bother go see the majority of Marvel films.

And then there's the Marvel TV shows available via Netflix and Disney+. When Daredevil, Jessica Jones, etc was originally coming out years ago my wife and I would religiously binge watch them. Now when Disney+ releases new TV shows it is really 50/50 whether we will watch them. I watched She-Hulk, Ms Marvel, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but some of the other shows held zero interest for us. Sometimes we might watch the first episode and then get bored.

So yes, I think in our household we definitely have Marvel Fatigue. But what is Marvel Fatigue?

I asked ChatGPT to write a blog post on the subject and here is what it spewed out:

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Is "Marvel Fatigue" Real?

In the realm of blockbuster cinema, few franchises have achieved the level of success and cultural impact as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). With its interconnected storylines, charismatic superheroes, and high-octane action, Marvel Studios has captivated audiences worldwide for over a decade. However, as the MCU continues to expand and dominate the box office, a phenomenon known as "Marvel Fatigue" has begun to emerge.

But what exactly is Marvel Fatigue? Is it simply a case of oversaturation, or is there something deeper at play? Let's delve into the factors contributing to this phenomenon and explore whether audiences are truly growing tired of the superhero genre.

The Rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The MCU burst onto the scene in 2008 with the release of "Iron Man," kicking off a cinematic revolution that would redefine the superhero genre. Over the years, Marvel Studios has meticulously crafted a sprawling universe, weaving together standalone films, team-up epics, and interconnected story arcs.

With each new release, the MCU has continued to push the boundaries of what's possible in superhero filmmaking. From the epic battles of "The Avengers" to the cosmic adventures of "Guardians of the Galaxy," Marvel Studios has consistently delivered high-quality entertainment that resonates with audiences of all ages.

The Pitfalls of Oversaturation

Despite its undeniable success, the MCU's relentless release schedule has led to concerns of oversaturation. With multiple films hitting theaters each year, some critics argue that audiences are becoming fatigued by the constant barrage of superhero content.

In recent years, Marvel Studios has expanded its universe beyond the confines of traditional cinema, venturing into streaming with original series on Disney+. While this has allowed for deeper exploration of characters and storylines, it has also added to the sense of oversaturation, with new content dropping on a regular basis.

Diminishing Returns?

Another factor contributing to Marvel Fatigue is the diminishing returns of formulaic storytelling. While each MCU film brings its own unique flair and style, there's a certain predictability to the overarching narrative structure. Origin stories, villain-of-the-week plots, and world-ending threats have become staples of the genre, leading some audiences to feel like they've seen it all before.

Additionally, as the MCU expands to encompass more characters and storylines, maintaining coherence and continuity becomes increasingly challenging. While die-hard fans may revel in the intricate web of connections, casual moviegoers may find themselves overwhelmed or disengaged by the sheer scope of the universe.

Changing Tastes and Trends

Beyond the specificities of the MCU, Marvel Fatigue may also be indicative of broader shifts in audience preferences. In an era dominated by sequels, reboots, and shared universes, there's a growing appetite for originality and innovation. Audiences crave fresh storytelling and diverse perspectives, which can be difficult to achieve within the confines of a sprawling franchise like the MCU.

Moreover, the rise of streaming services has fundamentally changed the way people consume media. With endless options at their fingertips, audiences are less inclined to venture out to the theater for every Marvel release. Instead, they may choose to wait for home viewing or prioritize other forms of entertainment altogether.

The Future of the MCU

So, where does this leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Despite the challenges of Marvel Fatigue, there's no denying that the franchise remains a powerhouse in the world of entertainment. With a slate of upcoming films and series, Marvel Studios shows no signs of slowing down.

However, in order to sustain its success, the MCU must continue to evolve and adapt to changing audience tastes. This may involve taking creative risks, exploring new genres, or diversifying its roster of characters and creators. By staying true to its roots while embracing innovation, Marvel Studios can ensure that the magic of the MCU continues to captivate audiences for years to come.

In conclusion, while Marvel Fatigue may be a real phenomenon for some audiences, it's not necessarily a death knell for the MCU. By addressing the pitfalls of oversaturation, embracing originality, and staying attuned to changing trends, Marvel Studios can navigate the challenges ahead and continue to thrive in an ever-evolving entertainment landscape. As long as there are stories to be told and heroes to root for, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remain a force to be reckoned with.


And there you go, that's what ChatGPT had to say. I however wonder if perhaps this is the beginning of the end for the MCU. If the films start making less and less money, and potentially become financially risky then Disney could pull the plug on any film that they think is too big of a risk.

They might try to change things up by being less formulaic, but they also have to stay true to the source material... And comic books are by their nature very formulaic. If they differ from the source material too much then the fans will get upset and badmouth the film(s).

Which begs the question, if the diminishing returns are being felt already in 2023-2024, what will it be like 6 years from now in 2030? Will the MCU even still be around in 2030?

Call for Submissions, Peasant Magazine 2024

Peasant Magazine is seeking submissions for Issue #2. Specifically it is looking for fantasy, historical fantasy, historical fiction and magical realism stories that are between 1,000 and 8,000 words in length.

PM is a free nonprofit fantasy/historical fiction/magical realism literary magazine that focuses on stories set on earth prior to 1750 or set in a fantasy world.

Furthermore stories don't have to be 'first time publications'. They also accept reprints of previously published works.

Peasant Magazine is available in both 8x11 magazine format from Amazon, and as a free PDF for download.

Peasant Magazine Issue #1, 8x11

Peasant Magazine Issue #1, Free PDF



Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

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