Cookie's Uncensored Reviews 🔒

Hello! :heartpulse:

I am really hoping to get a review, so I can improve my story.

Title: Sleeping With The Enemy
Author: LilDevil
Description: You are a journalist who is trying to uncover crime in the world of Mafia, but what happens when you start to develop feelings for an older man who is also your biggest enemy… CC
Link : http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4986159093907456
Small cover:
Sleeping_With_The_Enemy_c5_posterThumb_C7Jm8lbV0T
What is the main concern about your story?
First of all: I am struggling with the description - I don’t know if it is appealing enough.
Grammar: English is not my native language.
Overall review - is the plot interesting enough to make you wanna read more?

Thank you in advance! :relaxed:

1 Like

@sophiesophilatte_104 - Xena Pierce


1st Episode

  • That’s weird. I found out that I was already reading your story, 3 episodes actually.
  • Nice splashes, in the beginning, loved the bunny.
  • Artemisia? What’s their nationality?
  • I don’t really get your zoom in Artemisia and Xena convo. Is it on purpose, that you cut a part of the zoomed character?
  • Spotted one default character, a Muslim girl. It’s a curse of writers - we spot default characters :smiley:
  • I’m starting to think I did R4R with you at some point, cause everything seems familiar.
  • Again with zooms. This time scene with Alec and Xena. You zoom on Alec, he says his line, then Xena tells her, but you don’t zoom on her. So like I read her line, but I don’t see her. Sometimes I do this, but like to show some tension, like when some character suddenly appears, and I want to show other character’s reaction. But in this case, I don’t really like it.
  • Maybe it’s a personal preference, but I’m not really fond of the narrator approach you did. .Like when the Narrator plays the role of “supervisor”? Have you seen Grinch movie? The one with Jim Carrey. They used this approach, like when we see what characters do, but the narrator plays a big role, quite often commenting on what is happening, and what characters feel. It worked for a fairytale, but I’m not sure it’s the best approach that could’ve been used for an action story (if it’s not a comedy action).
  • Why didn’t you show how Xena slapped Alec? At that moment you paned to another zone for some reason, and then paned back to show him falling.
  • Check speechbubble positions. I won’t point exact moments, but I noticed that sometimes they are chaotic.
  • Yep. The further I went with Alex and Xena convo the more bugging it is that you don’t zoom on them when they speak. Consider rethinking this concept, because in this scene at least, it doesn’t add an edge or benefits the scene in any way. For now, it looks like you didn’t want to put animations for certain lines, so you just left the zoom on the non-speaking character.
  • That Alec and Xena scene is very long, gets very boring, and doesn’t add to the plot really. I wanted to mention it at the beginning, but Xena and her mom convo, plus the first choice doesn’t contain enough information to a) understand what to choose (so the choice wasn’t really engaging) and b) although I suppose it Xena and her mom conflict is connected to Alec and Xena conversation, it’s still not clear what it’s about. So I’m like half into the episode but have no idea what’s really going on.
  • I liked the idea of the survival game. Very entertaining. The only thing I would suggest is to play with fighting scene directing. As I see it now, you use @CHARACTER is animation and then the next line @OTHERCHARACTER is animation. It creates the pause between actions and doesn’t look so smooth. Play with &CHARACTER is animation and @CHARACTER1 is animation and CHARACTER2 is animation.
  • The scene where Xena is already in the house after knocking out the first guy, she kinda stands there bent for quite some time thinking, and it looks weird. Maybe spice it up with some other animations, like thinking or something.
    Summary of the first episode.
    Well, I certainly liked the second half of the episode more. Good amount of action, plus the game. But the first part gotta say I disliked. It lacks the necessary information to understand MC’s motives, and conversations aren’t very interesting. I would suggest to work on them, plus check directing points I’ve mentioned.

2nd Episode

  • Calm her down/freak her out. I went with freak her out, just cause I thought it’ll be funny :smiley:
  • My most often point to make. I will just put a quote from my guide. It is in regards with first scene of the 2nd episode, where Xena says “I need to go back” and animation dustoff

Non-talking animations used with dialogue lines
I see it in almost every story!
I get it, sometimes it is hard to find the perfect animation for the specific line.
But when you use wink animations, admire, eyeroll animations with the dialogue lines - a character says something with its mouth basically closed. I donnow about you, but it seriously buggers me. Maybe I’m just too attentive to details, but I surely know I’m not the only one.

  • Again. Xena is stressing out because she doesn’t know some things. But there is a lack of backstory, like what exactly she wants to know. I can’t feel sorry for the character if I don’t understand his motives.
  • Well, that thing with the wig was unexpected. I liked it.
  • Most of the speechbubbes are off in the second chapter as well.
  • I don’t really get Alec’s motives. He is a friend, but I think their friendship lacks an exposition, to be more real. At this point I think it would make sense to make one chapter before the events, just to show Xena’s relationship with mother and Alec. Maybe something else.
  • Okay. The end of the 2nd episode. How does MC know where to go to find her mom? Was she trained or something? What makes her think she is capable? I will read 3rd chapter, just hoping to undrerstand everything better. :woman_shrugging:

3rd chapter

  • I don’t get the point of the fight. Feels like a far-fetched-forced scene to show…um. Alec’s personality? Okay, so you put it to show that Xena is a badass. Still feels pointless and forced.
  • On the bright side, fighting scenes are built better than in 1st episode.
  • I noticed sometimes you don’t put animation before every dialogue line.
  • I still don’t get why Xena is badass. Like I know now, that she doesn’t know a lot about her dad? or something, and that she had to hide her identity (for the reasons that she doesn’t know). It buggers me.
  • Intense speech from Alec when Xena wants to leave. But still, I didn’t see their friendship, so it makes it hard for me to believe him.
  • I would advise to find a proofreader or pass your script through the grammar checker (like grammarly.com) because I saw quite an amount of mistakes.

Summary
Welp. I guess I mentioned a lot of things I think are worth fixing. I asked some questions if you’re feeling like it - answer. Maybe I just misunderstood something with the plot.
So how it goes for now. I liked the overall plot idea. I like action stories, and your plot idea is interesting. There are also some interesting details, and I suppose you have the idea where the plot is supposed to go.
I have problems with execution. You are familiar with spot commands, overlays, speechbubble commands and overall with advanced directing. I am sure you could’ve made a more accurate work in directing. Zoom thing, with not showing the character that speaks (and it was very often) seems for me to be the lazy approach. Also, there were a lot of moments where you zoom on characters, but you cut part of them. I don’t understand the meaning behind it.
Plus. If you remember I mentioned narrator thing in the 1st episode comments. This narrator disappeared in later episodes. Inconsistency in your directing/writing decisions. Think about it.
I mentioned character motivation (especially Alec). You are supposed to have some backstory, know the motives of characters, to feel emotions towards them. Emotions get the reader invested in the story.
The last thing - dialogues. There were some places, mostly with Alec and Xena, where dialogues were very long (and nothing wrong with that) but they aren’t interesting.
I found your story very interesting when there were action scenes and mini-games. I just want to see more consistency in all scenes.
I hope it will help you in some way, and remember, part of my thoughts are clearly subjective.

Title: Ocean’s 5
Author: Lara P.
Genre: Action
Chapters: 3 out (more coming soon)
Style: Ink
Description: Five highly skilled and most dangerous people on Earth are brought together for the biggest heist ever seen. What can go wrong?
Instagram: @larapstories
Link: https://episode.app.link/mRmxbzLPYR

Correct your post accordingly with my form, or I won’t review.

Title: Ocean’s 5
Author: Lara P.
Description: Five highly skilled and most dangerous people on Earth are brought together for the biggest heist ever seen. What can go wrong?


**Main concern:**I just wanna know what people think about my story and what can I improve

1 Like

@MysteryMaker - Lurking in the Shadows Hehe, glad you changed your mind :smiley:
1st Episode

  • Loved the backgrounds+sound combo in the intro, also kudos for meaningful choices.
  • After the “Every Halloween” narration, kids are standing near the wall with doodles. Loved the shadow overlay, but maybe consider making it colored background, not b&w. Just visual kind of thing. If you’ll be interested in coloring it, I can help.
  • Loved your zoom work in first scenes, they look very intense and “movie-like”.
  • I advise you to find a proofreader to check grammar. I can understand what characters mean, but I saw some mistakes with times, verbs and building the sentences.
  • Jessy’s first dialogue lines, I think you didn’t put animation for every line, cause her mouth was closed on the second line.
  • “Just Help…” correct to “Just help”.
  • In Carol’s dream. She walks to the left, but the background is looped to the other direction. Looks weird.
  • Check speechbubble commands, sometimes they are quite chaotic.
  • Carol’s line about wearing a coat, either put it as a thought or put some talking animation.
  • The girl behind Carol after she finds the paper was quite scary :smiley:
  • I’m not sure why do you keep putting some dialogue lines in narrator box.

2nd Episode

  • Um. How old is Jess? I find her question about bushes and eyes a bit weird. Is she 5 or smthg?
  • Good job on making backgrounds Haloweeny.
  • In the movie. Again same thing, your characters walking in the looped background are walking in the wrong direction. When I saw it the first time, I thought maybe it’s a dream-thing, but you do it all the time. It bugs me, to be honest,
  • Gang sub-plot in the horror story? That’s new.
  • Um. I don’t get that phone call with the green-haired dude, Or this plot-line with Richard whatsoever.
  • Now. That voice that was calling for Jess ir the real kid? I thought it’s a ghost or smthg. Cause of the way it was speaking.
  • Yep. Find a proofreader. I donnow what’s your mother language is, but I think you form sentences as you do it in your language, and it turns kinda weird and requires too much focus to understand.
  • Why Carol is freaking out so much? She didn’t even check the house, but mourning her like she’s dead already.
  • Why Jess is standing on the left in her scene, but on the right on the tape? Might be a mistake.
  • How is the guy on the tape can speak with Carol in the real time? It’s a tape…Oh, there is some mystical thing behind it.

3rd Episode

  • Officer saying that kid looks cute… Um… Creepy AF O_o
  • What is it with you dressing every girl in pants+skirt combo? :smiley:
  • Her mom doesn’t seem to be upset about Jess disappearance at all.
  • Check some dialogue lines that you made as thoughts, but put talking animation. To me, it’s the same kind of mistake as putting non-talking animation for a dialogue line that character says out loud.
  • The scene with Riley walking to Ben’s room, spot command is messed up, because it looks like he’s walking on the wall. Put him a bit lower.
  • I was discussing it in my guide-thread. Citizen1, citizen2. If you use background characters, but they still say some lines, make a normal name for them.

Okay. Summary.
What was good in your story.
Your use of zooms is superb. You put it very well to create tension.
The plot idea is good. I love mysteries and psychopaths.
Backgrounds, overlays, well done. Nice sound use.
What I didn’t quite like.
First of all, as I understood this is a short story with 5 episodes to be at the end, right?
If it’s the case, I don’t think you should’ve put so many characters, that play a major role in the story. I don’t see a lot of MC in the 2nd episode, and almost don’t see her in the 3rd. So it looks like there’s not MC at all. Which can be totally fine. But the problem with the short story and a lot of secondary characters is that you can’t expose them well enough. And I didn’t feel it. The gang sub-plot, in my opinion, is totally excessive and doesn’t add anything to the story.
Also, some character’s reactions and actions weren’t realistic to me.
When making character react to something, always think “how would I react if it happened to me?”. Carol freaking-out even before she checks home, her mom who seems not to care about Jess missing.
What I would do with it. I would keep 2 or 3 main characters and tried to expose them to the fullest, certainly removed gang plotline, go through with the proofreading and fixed a tiny bit of directing flaws.
Your visuals are great, and major plot idea is good for a horror/mystery genre. But I would work on characters far more.
Also, one small detail. Work on your female character’s outfits. Almost all of them dress the same. Pants and skirts. I donnow why is it…

can i submit a not published story for this. or shall i wait to it is published

If at least one episode is completed, then yes. You can DM me the link

okay dokey. i will look it over one time before sending it to you. cause i was redoing a scene and i dont think i got it done . (its been a few weeks and i have been working on chapter 2)

You can check Tips and Tricks Guide I made. Maybe it will help you :slight_smile:
Tips and tricks: How to make your story better

i have actually read that one before. its was a good help.

but i am not new here . i have been on episode before they got ink. i just dont published that many stories.

Oh :slight_smile: Okay. Then send your story when you’re ready :slight_smile:

1 Like

name: retrace
author: me. my name is Josefine
the description she never knew her dad. but after her mom gest in a coma. she takes contact to him. he was a criminal she was undercover. they both fall in love. two stories in one
my biggest concern is properly my grammar.

I am not done with chapter one completely. I am missing some sound and I am considering adding two more choices. and the scene where she holds the folder I need to redo that. cause it looks stupid. and i have not at all touch the speech bubbels yet.
edit: picture

also no need to hurry about the review. i got plenty of time

U sent me the wrong link :slight_smile: Here’s how to find the link
image

upsy http://episodeinteractive.com/s/6425193401417728

I have 3 reviews to do before you. I strongly advice you to put your story through grammarly.com at least. Cuz I already see plenty of mistakes in description, and if it’s the same in the story, it will be hard to read, and affect my judgement :slight_smile:

i already use Grammarly, and honestly it does not work that great cause I have had my description through it and it says there is no mistakes

2 Likes
Updated

She never knew her dad, but after her mom is in a coma, she decides to contact him. He was a criminal and she was undercover. They fell in love. Two stories in one.

3 Likes

Much better.
But either I’m dumb or haven’t woke up completely, cause it still doesn’t make much sense to me :sleeping:

1 Like

Okay, I’ve read it few more times :smiley: It does now. Thank you :fairy:

1 Like